Anwar claims majority in M'sian parliament again, in talks with UMNO MPs about possible cooperation

He pointed out that there were individual UMNO MPs who have voiced their support for him.

Matthias Ang | March 17, 2021, 04:02 PM

Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has reiterated his claim that he has "adequate" numbers to secure a majority in the country's parliament.

Speaking at a press conference in Petaling Jaya on Mar. 16, Anwar highlighted that there were around a dozen MPs of the current ruling coalition, Perikatan Nasional (PN), who supported him, Malaysiakini reported.

For any political party or coalition in Malaysia to form the new government, it must cross the minimum threshold of 112 seats out of a total of 222 parliamentary seats.

Anwar said, "It is simple mathematics. PN claimed they have 111 or 112. If we take a portion of those who have declared support for me, they are technically left with 100."

Preliminary talks also being held with UMNO

In addition, Anwar hinted at the possibility of a collaboration between his party, People's Justice Party (PKR) and UMNO. Or at least, he did not rule it out.

Although insisting that talks between the two parties were still at an early stage, Anwar pointed out that there were individual UMNO MPs who have voiced their support for him.

He was quoted by The Edge Markets as saying:

"There are several UMNO MPs who support (personally), but (support) as a party no decision yet. Discussions with UMNO (MPs) are ongoing.

I do not discount the possibility (of PKR-UMNO cooperation) but it is still too early, premature for me to decide."

What has UMNO said?

For its part, UMNO's information chief, Shahril Hamdan, has said that the party is still firm on the decision of its supreme council to not work with either PKR or the Democratic Action Party (DAP).

With regard to Anwar's claim, Shahril further replied that it was up to him to claim that PKR is in negotiation with UMNO to cooperate.

A source close to UMNO's President, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, also said that talks held between both parties were on matters such as ending Malaysia's state of emergency, instead of talks on collaboration.

The source added, "UMNO has not gone into political talks with PKR. Because UMNO cannot work with PKR and Anwar politically, as we have differences in ideology and stand on some issues."

Not the first time Anwar has claimed a majority

Anwar had previously met the Malaysian King in October 2020 to show proof of his majority support in parliament to form a new government and remove the sitting Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who took office after cobbling together a slim majority in the lower house.

The National Palace later issued a statement denying that Anwar had provided the names of the lawmakers whom he claimed supported him.

Top image via Anwar Ibrahim Facebook