Malaysian king calls council of sultans to resolve election crisis
Send a link to a friend
[November 23, 2022]
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) -Malaysia's king on Wednesday
called a special meeting of his fellow hereditary sultans to discuss who
should be prime minister as an unprecedented post-election crisis
entered its fourth day.
The king is due to pick a new prime minister after the leading
contenders - opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and former premier
Muhyiddin Yassin - failed to secure enough support for a majority
following a Saturday election that produced an unprecedented hung
The uncertainty over the election prolongs political instability in the
Southeast Asian country, which has had three prime ministers in as many
years, and risks delaying policy decisions needed to foster economic
The Council of Rulers, which groups the heads of all nine royal houses,
will meet on Thursday to discuss the formation of a new government, the
palace said in a statement.
"The purpose of the meeting of the Council of Malay Rulers is for the
King to get the thoughts of the Malay rulers so that he can make a
decision for the wellbeing for the people and the country," the palace
King Al-Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah is in the spotlight as he
considers who will be the next prime minister, after both Anwar and
Muhyiddin missed his Tuesday afternoon deadline to put together an
The constitutional monarch plays a largely ceremonial role but can
appoint a premier he believes will command a majority in parliament.
Malaysia has a unique constitutional monarchy in which kings are chosen
in turn from the royal families of nine states to reign for a five-year
King Al-Sultan Abdullah made his announcement of a special council after
meeting lawmakers from the incumbent Barisan Nasional coalition.
[to top of second column]
Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar
Ibrahim attends a news conference outside the National Palace, in
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia November 22, 2022. REUTERS/Hasnoor Hussain
Anwar's coalition, known as Pakatan Harapan, won the most seats in
the Saturday election with 82, while Muhyiddin's Perikatan Nasional
bloc won 73. They need 112 - a simple majority - to form a
Barisan won only 30 seats - the worst electoral performance for a
coalition that had dominated politics since independence in 1957 -
but the support of its members of parliament will be crucial for
both Anwar and Muhyiddin to get to 112.
Barisan said on Tuesday it would not align with either of the rival
Muhyiddin said he had declined the king's suggestion for the rivals
to work together to form a "unity government". Muhyiddin runs an
ethnic Malay Muslim conservative alliance, while Anwar heads a
Muhyiddin's bloc includes an the Islamist party PAS, whose electoral
gains have raised concern in a country with significant ethnic
Chinese and ethnic Indian minorities, most of whom follow other
Investors have also been spooked over worries about the Islamist
party's possible impact on policies.
Police this week cautioned social media users to refrain from
posting "provocative" content on race and religion after the
(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff, A. Ananthalakshmi, and Mei Mei Chu;
Writing by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Gerry Doyle, Robert Birsel)
[© 2022 Thomson Reuters. All rights
This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thompson Reuters is solely responsible for this content.