KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 — More than 48 hours after the conclusion of the 15th General Election (GE15) which ended with no party getting a simple majority to form the federal government, all eyes are now on Istana Negara as the people await the announcement of the new Prime Minister of Malaysia.
The GE15 ended in a hung parliament that saw political blocs – Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) – which managed to secure the most parliamentary seats, reach an impasse preventing the formation of a government that has a simple majority of 112 seats.
In an effort to break the stalemate, PH and PN, with 82 and 73 seats respectively, claimed to have the numbers and support of independent parliamentarians to establish a federal government.
Both blocs carried out a series of negotiations to persuade other parties to support their Prime Minister candidates, which have not been successful so far.
This has led to various ‘formulas’ being put together; for PH to work with Barisan Nasional (BN) or PN with BN, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS), as well as proposals for PH and PN to join forces, thus becoming a strong government with a majority of more than two thirds, among other things.
BN, which managed to secure 30 seats and is being persuaded by both blocs, decided during today’s Supreme Council meeting not to support any coalition to form the federal government.
It also stated that none of its MPs supported PN chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the 10th Prime Minister.
GPS which won 23 seats, and GRS with six seats, each expressed their support for PN, while Parti Warisan (Warisan) which managed to secure three seats also expressed its support for PH and BN to form the government.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah is seen to be treading carefully in finding the best solution for the current situation.
His Majesty has also urged the people to remain calm and patient while waiting for the formation of a new government.
Following the 2 pm deadline set for political parties to prove their majority to form the government today, Al-Sultan Abdullah summoned the heads of the PH and PN coalitions to Istana Negara at 4.30 pm after His Majesty found that no MP had obtained a simple majority to be appointed Prime Minister, as provided under Article 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution.
The people’s hope to see a new Prime Minister appointed has yet to be fulfilled.
Asked about the matter by reporters who had gathered outside Istana Negara since early today, PH chairman Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who entered the palace at 4.10 pm said, there had been no decision regarding the appointment of the Prime Minister.
The PKR president said His Majesty had ordered that the new government should be inclusive and represent all parties, races and regions, and emphasised the need for consensus and cooperation among all parties so that a strong government could be formed to safeguard the people’s interests and resuscitate the economy.
Muhyiddin in a press conference following his return from the palace insisted that PN had the support and that it had submitted statutory declarations (SDs) by 115 MPs to form a new government to Istana Negara yesterday.
He reiterated that PN would not cooperate with PH to form the new government.
To facilitate the decision to be made, His Majesty has summoned 30 BN MPs for an audience at the Istana Negara tomorrow (Nov 23).
Each MP will have an individual audience with the King, starting from 10.30 am.