Malaysian King meeting party leaders in bid to end political tug of war

In a photo taken on Jan 31, 2019, the King of Malaysia Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah Ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah Al-Musta'in Billah prays during the welcoming ceremony at the Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur.
In a photo taken on Jan 31, 2019, the King of Malaysia Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah Ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah Al-Musta'in Billah prays during the welcoming ceremony at the Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur.PHOTO: AFP

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, is meeting all political party leaders on Saturday (Feb 29) at Istana Negara for them to present their choice of the next prime minister.

The King will meet them individually from 10.30am, said a palace official.

At 10am, a convoy of vehicles was spotted entering the Palace grounds led by Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The convoy of more than a dozen vehicles was escorted by police into the palace compound. Also spotted in the convoy were former PKR vice president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, and Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa.

At 10.40am, the convoy was seem leaving the Palace. Among those spotted leaving were Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who waved to reporters as he drove off.

When asked by media to comment, PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said that he would be coming back on Sunday (March 1).

Istana Negara had issued a statement earlier on Saturday that the King would continue to be in touch with political party leaders with representation in Parliament to determine who will be the next prime minister.

In a statement, Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said the King would continue to look for a solution to end the political impasse for the sake of the people.

"He has also consented to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohd Ariff Md Yusof's decision to not hold the special parliamentary meeting planned for March 2, " he said.

Earlier, Ariff ruled that there would be no meeting on Monday to determine who will be prime minister as the letter from interim Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was not followed by a complete "Motion Notification" and therefore did not conform to Parliament's Standing Order 11(3).

Standing Order 11(3) allows for a sitting to be held earlier than the scheduled Dewan Rakyat meeting, adding that a one-day notice to the Dewan Rakyat is also sufficient.

Dr Mahathir had on Thursday called for the special Dewan Rakyat sitting to determine who will be the next prime minister after the conclusion of his meeting with the King at Istana Negara earlier in the day.

Ahmad Fadil said the King also expressed his thanks to everyone involved in the process of interviewing MPs to get their views on who should be the prime minister.

"However, His Majesty is not entirely convinced that a single MP commands the majority support in the Dewan Rakyat to form a new government, " he said.

Meanwhile, Pakatan Harapan presidential council issued a statement saying that its candidate for prime minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, should be given the opportunity to be granted an audience with the King as it claimed he has enough support.

 
 

"We believe Anwar has the largest number of MPs backing him based on the process determined by the King and therefore should be given the chance to be granted an audience with the King to prove this, " he said.

Pakatan said it put its full trust in the King to find a solution in the leadership tug of war.