Thursday, 22 Oct 2020

14 Umno MPs deny they support Anwar as Malaysia's next PM

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Fourteen Umno MPs have denied claims that they will support Malaysian opposition chief Anwar Ibrahim’s bid to be the next prime minister.

The names of the lawmakers, including former premier Najib Razak, were among the list of 19 Umno MPs allegedly supporting Datuk Seri Anwar. The list has been circulating on social media.

Mr Anwar, president of opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat, has yet to release the names of MPs said to be supporting him, saying he would only do so after presenting the list to the Malaysian King.

Mr Anwar said at a news conference on Wednesday (Sept 23) that he has a “formidable” number of MPs in the 222-seat House supporting him, and claimed that the government of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has “collapsed”.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional alliance had support from 113 MPs – just one legislator above the minimum 112 needed to control Parliament.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, a few hours later added credence to Mr Anwar’s claim by saying he knew that “many” Umno and Barisan Nasional MPs now back Mr Anwar.

The validity of the list of Umno MPs is now in question, as about three-quarters of those listed have openly denied any involvement with Mr Anwar’s claim.

Of the 19, only Kedah MP Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and Sabah MP Mohamad Alamin have yet to issue any statements.

Perak legislator Nazri Aziz said he would only withdraw his support for PM Muhyiddin if snap polls were called.

Meanwhile, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has also said that his party would not work with Umno under the leadership of Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid and Najib.

The Democratic Action Party (DAP), a member of the three-party coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) led by Mr Anwar, has 42 MPs.

Mr Anwar’s PKR has 38 and the third PH member Parti Amanah Negara has 11 lawmakers.

This means that PH has a total of 91 MPs on its side. It needs another 21 MPs to reach the minimum 112 figure to win control of Parliament.

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