Anwar’s bid to become PM hangs in the balance as treatment for Agong continues

Istana Negara yesterday did not mention exactly when the Yang di-Pertuan Agong would be ready to have an audience with anyone


THE Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah had been treated for food poisoning and sport injuries intervention at the National Heart Institute (IJN), according to a statement by the Istana Negara yesterday.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong had been advised to undergo further treatment at the hospital and is expected to return to the Palace soon.

“His Majesty is in a stable condition and there is no cause for concern,” the statement said.

The Palace, however, did not mention anything on Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s (picture) political play.

The timeline for Anwar to be granted an audience with the Agong seemed to have slipped further away as his bid to take over Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassinled government remained a question mark.

In a pronouncement last Wednesday, he claimed to have a “strong, formidable and convincing” majority support from MPs to form a new government, ousting Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional (PN).

The PN has “collapsed”, Anwar claimed.

The Port Dickson MP remained tight-lipped when repeatedly asked by the media to reveal the numbers he had, saying that information must be made known to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong before anyone else.

Anwar further said he was scheduled for a royal audience last Tuesday to present the numbers he claimed to have, but it was postponed because the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was admitted to the IJN.

A statement by Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi fuelled the speculation, saying Umno would not stop its MPs if they wanted to individually support Anwar as the next PM.

Anwar’s pronouncement, dubbed the Le Meridien, raised eyebrows among sceptics even more so because he had created a similar episode in 2008 when he claimed to have the majority after several Barisan Nasional MPs had pledged to join him and then Pakatan Rakyat to form the government.

The latest move by Anwar was made a few days in the run-up to the Sabah state election, which drew speculations among political observers that Anwar wanted to garner support from Sabah voters for his party and allies in the polls.

As it was, Gabungan Rakyat Sabah claimed victory in the state election, potentially placing Muhyiddin as the biggest winner in the country’s political scene and Anwar among the biggest losers.

Istana Negara yesterday did not mention exactly when the Yang di-Pertuan Agong will return to the Palace nor when His Majesty would be ready to have an audience with anyone.

Until Anwar enters the royal gate and proves his numbers, his claim to have majority support remains unsubstantiated.