Malaysia opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim grilled by police on list of backers for PM bid

Malaysia opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim grilled by police on list of backers for PM bid. Malaysia’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was grilled by police on Friday over his claim that he has a list of lawmakers supporting his bid to oust the government.

Anwar Ibrahim, who is facing the police heat after he claimed that he has majority support to form government and unseat Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, has called it a “political harassment”. He said the police investigation into the viral list of lawmakers said to be backing his bid for the premiership was a “malicious” attempt to pressure him to reveal the identities of his supporters.

“It is plainly malicious, it is obviously a political harassment,” Anwar Ibrahim said, news agency AP reported. “This is obviously a political ploy to bug me at this critical juncture.”

Anwar Ibrahim met the nation’s lord on Tuesday to show evidence that he has majority support in Parliament to form another government and unseat PM Muhyiddin Yassin, who has only a thin two-seat majority in the house.

Police summoned Anwar, 73, to give a statement Friday after 113 complaints were lodged over a purported list of 121 lawmakers allegedly backing Anwar that has spread on social media, the AP report stated.

Anwar told reporters outside police headquarters that six cases were being investigated against him under the punitive code covering statements of public mischief and a multimedia law on the improper use of network facilities to bother someone.

But he said police questions were focused on uncovering the identities of the lawmakers supporting him, likely at the instruction of the government.

Anwar has claimed he has more than 120 lawmakers backing him but has refused to name them, in the midst of allegations that Muhyiddin’s camp might seek to lure them back with bribes.

Anwar said the matter was between him and King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, and told police he won”t reveal the names of the lawmakers.

He said the complaints were lodged by some people and parties in Muhyiddin’s government. Police didn”t disclose the nature of the complaints. It is muddled where the list shared on social media originated. Some lawmakers on the list denied supporting Anwar.

Anwar has said the ruler will meet leaders of political parties to check his claim. But the political tussle is probably going to delay because the lord has postponed the meetings because of restrictions imposed in Kuala Lumpur this week because of a surge in coronavirus cases.

The monarch on Thursday advised political leaders to “abstain from diving the country into another political crisis” during the pandemic. In a statement, he urged politicians to settle their dispute through negotiations and under legal processes based on the constitution.

Muhyiddin, who took power in March after causing the collapse of Anwar’s’ reformist alliance, has previously dismissed Anwar’s’ claim of having secured the support of a majority of lawmakers to unseat him. He said he would leave it to the lord to decide but faced increasing pressure this week.

After Anwar’s audience with the ruler, the key ally in Muhyiddin’s’ administering coalition threatened to withdraw support for the government in the midst of anger over being sidelined despite being the biggest party.

Several lawmakers, both in the decision coalition and the opposition, have also sought a vote of no confidence against Muhyiddin when Parliament resumes Nov. 2. But the motion may be thwarted by the house speaker, who is aligned with the prime minister.

Anwar’s Alliance of Hope won elections in 2018 but collapsed after Muhyiddin withdrew his party and joined with the opposition to form a Malay-centric government in March. Then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resigned in protest, saying he wouldn’t work with parties accused of corruption that he ousted in the 2018 polls. In the event that Anwar succeeds, it would mark a dramatic comeback after his roller-coaster political excursion since the 1990s.

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