Muhyiddin says he trusts Malaysian King's judgment on Anwar issue

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin spent an hour on Facebook Live yesterday fielding questions from the media on the pandemic and the government’s response, and declined to be drawn into what transpired in a morning meeting between opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and the Malaysian King. PHOTO: BERNAMA

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday declined to be drawn into what transpired in a morning meeting between opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and the Malaysian King, where Datuk Seri Anwar claimed he has majority support from MPs to form a new government.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin said he wanted to focus his energy on managing the Covid-19 pandemic and the struggling economy.

"I don't want to comment on what Anwar did at the palace. I leave it to the best judgment of the Agong (King).

"He has his own way of doing things as provided by the Constitution," the Premier said, referring to Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin.

"My focus is on Covid-19 and managing the economy."

Mr Muhyiddin spent an hour on Facebook Live fielding questions from local media about the pandemic and the government's response.

Only one question near the end of the session was on the meeting between Mr Anwar and the King.

Mr Muhyiddin said at the start of the session, which began at 5pm, that he knew many journalists were keen on his comments about the meeting at Istana Negara.

But he said he would focus instead on the "biggest issues" facing Malaysia - the pandemic and its impact on the country.

During the press conference, Mr Muhyiddin fielded mostly questions regarding the pandemic and the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), which comes into effect in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya from midnight today.

"Due to the high population in these areas, we have noticed that cases are continuing to climb even in some yellow zones," Mr Muhyiddin said, in justifying the movement curbs that will affect some 7.6 million people.

The Klang Valley, as Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and the southern districts are called, is Malaysia's most densely populated area - home to over 20 per cent of the country's population.

Mr Muhyiddin's government was previously questioned about its decision to implement a CMCO for the whole of greater Klang Valley, instead of taking a targeted approach in several red zones.

The National Security Council later released a set of guidelines that seemed to indicate a more relaxed approach to the movement curbs in Malaysia's capital.

It said that dine-in at restaurants will still be allowed, for a maximum of two people per table, and that Kuala Lumpur and Selangor will be considered a single zone for travelling.

There were 660 new coronavirus cases recorded yesterday, the second-highest for the country. Selangor recorded 74 cases, continuing a recent upward trend.

Mr Muhyiddin also said Malaysia has been granted priority by China to receive the latter's coronavirus vaccines when they are available.

"The Chinese Foreign Minister has agreed to prioritise Malaysia to make sure we are among the first ones to receive the vaccine when it becomes available," he said, referring to Mr Wang Yi.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 14, 2020, with the headline Muhyiddin says he trusts Malaysian King's judgment on Anwar issue. Subscribe