BN lawmakers seek postponement of audience with Malaysian King

King Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah

Malaysia’s former ruling coalition Barisan Nasional wants more time to decide on who to back as the next prime minister, prolonging a political stalemate that emerged after an inconclusive national election last week.

The 30 lawmakers from Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN), have two choices: opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim from Pakatan Harapan (PH) or ex-premier Muhyiddin Yassin who helms Perikatan Nasional (PH).

BN has since asked to postpone Wednesday’s audience with King Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah. The monarch has yet to respond.

“If it is possible, we would like to postpone it to consider several issues,” said Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) deputy president M. Saravanan. “The Umno secretary-general has informed the Palace on this.”

The MIC is a member of BN.

The BN supreme council held a meeting late Tuesday night but leaders who attended were tight-lipped over the outcome of the meeting.

Sabah Umno chief Bung Moktar Radin said there is a “cooling-off period” for the Members of Parliament, and no decision was made by the coalition.

“We did discuss, but the decision is to cool down. Cool down from thinking, we have 30 MPs here, we shouldn’t make a fuss,” he said.

Umno senior leader Hishammuddin Hussein briefly commented on the matter.

“When it doesn’t happen, then it’s postponed,” said Datuk Seri Hishammuddin.

MCA secretary-general Datuk Chong Sin Woon said BN decision still stands, that it will support neither Pakatan Harapan (PH) nor Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalitions.

“We will not support any pact to form the government,” said Chong briefly.

Malaysia has been in a political limbo since the Nov 19 general election.

PH won the highest number of parliamentary seats, but its 82 wins fell short of the simple majority needed to form a government.

A pact with BN, which won 30 seats, would help it meet the required threshold of 112 seats. But BN on Tuesday said it won’t support either PH or PN that won 73 seats.




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