Malaysian King urges politicians to show maturity in resolving political conflicts amid leadership uncertainty

Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah (left) has postponed meeting party leaders to verify Mr Anwar's claim.
Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah (left) has postponed meeting party leaders to verify Mr Anwar's claim.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian King Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah on Friday (Oct 16) urged politicians in the country to show "maturity" in resolving conflicts amid fresh uncertainties over the position of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.

In a statement issued by the Royal Palace, Sultan Abdullah said politicians should understand the predicament of the country's citizens, who are bracing for a fresh surge in coronavirus cases which has already seen over 30 per cent of the population come under partial lockdowns.

"Your Majesty stresses that politicians should not end differences of opinion in an adversarial manner, but instead resolve issues with negotiations and using constitutional provisions," Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Indera Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said.

The King's remarks come after no-confidence motions were filed on Thursday in Parliament against Tan Sri Muhyiddin, who is facing increasing pressure to prove he still commands a parliamentary majority.

Datuk Seri Amiruddin Hamzah, a former member of Mr Muhyiddin's Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), and now aligned with former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad's Parti Pejuang Tanah Air, filed the motion to fulfil a two-week requirement to enable it to be debated when Parliament again sits on Nov 2.

Tun Dr Mahathir, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir and two other MPs from Pejuang had filed similar motions.

The 95-year-old former premier first filed a no-confidence motion when Mr Muhyiddin assumed premiership in March this year but it was never debated in Parliament.

"This effort is part of a move to return the people's mandate from GE14, against a government that is not stable and incompetent," Mr Amiruddin said in a Facebook post where he included a copy of the motion he filed.

The move comes just weeks after Tengku Razaleigh Tengku Hamzah, an 83-year-old senior MP from the ruling coalition, wrote to Parliament speaker Azhar Azizan Harun to urge the House to allow a no-confidence motion against Mr Muhyiddin, 73.

The prime minister's grip on power has looked tenuous since Tuesday, when opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, 73,was granted an audience with the King, where he claimed to possess a parliamentary majority.

While Datuk Seri Anwar's bid did not immediately succeed, Mr Muhyiddin's PN partners Umno later threatened to withdraw their backing of the ruling coalition if a series of fresh demands were not met.

On Wednesday, Tengku Razaleigh's letter surfaced, further underlining the pushback in the Umno ranks against Mr Muhyiddin's premiership.

Another Umno MP, Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, has since said that people should "not be surprised" if Umno decides to back Mr Anwar's premiership bid.

Mr Muhyiddin holds a narrow two-seat majority after leading mass defections from the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition to form the PN government in March this year.

Mr Anwar has claimed that he has the backing of over 120 MPs, a stronger majority than PN's 113 seats.

Sultan Abdullah, meanwhile has postponed meeting party leaders to verify Mr Anwar's claim until the current partial lockdown in Klang Valley, which runs from Wednesday to Oct 27, ends.