The Malaysian king says leading coalitions don’t have the numbers to form a government

Voters line up to cast their ballots during the general election in Bera in Pahang state, Malaysia, November 19, 2022.

Xinhua News Agency | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

Malaysia’s King Yang di-Pertuan Agong said that neither the leading coalitions Pakatan Harapan or Perikatan Nasional has achieved a simple majority to form a government as the Malaysian general election deadlock continues.

After reviewing the results and figures of the two sides at 2pm on Tuesday in Malaysia, the King issued a formal statement calling on the heads of Pakatan and Perikatan respectively, Anwar Ibrahim and Muhyiddin Yassin, to meet with him again in the royal palace. Istana Negara at 4:30 PM Malaysia time.

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However, that conversation did not lead to results.

Shortly before 6pm, local media reported that Anwar had told a press conference outside the palace that the king wants to establish a stable majority government and that it is now up to the king to make that decision.

Muhyiddin left earlier at about 5:10 p.m. without speaking to the press.

Earlier Tuesday, the king asked the nation for patience.

“I urge the nation to be patient and remain calm until the process of forming a new Malaysian government and selecting a new prime minister is completed,” the king said in the statement.

“I invite the people of Malaysia to pray that our country will always be blessed and protected from all threats and dangers.”

Malaysia faces a hung parliament with Pakatan, led by Ibrahim, holding the most parliamentary seats at 82. A coalition would need 112 seats out of 222 to form a government. Perikatan has 73.

Malaysia’s longest-ruling political coalition, Barisan Nasional, decided earlier Tuesday not to support either of the two leading coalitions Pakatan Harapan or Perikatan Nasional.

The coalition, which won as many as 30 seats in Saturday’s general election, also decided to remain in the opposition.

This was one of the coalition’s worst election results in 60 years of rule, having failed to win re-election in 2018 due to the involvement of Barisan member and former Prime Minister Najib Razak in the 1MDB scandal.

Incumbent Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced the coalition’s decision as both Pakatan and Perikatan were on their way to meet the king.

Separately, local media reported that the Warisan Party had declared its support for Pakatan and Barisan as the bloc with the most victories. This comes just as Barisan said it would not cooperate with Pakatan.

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