It can be said that the country was hit by a political earthquake as rumours and speculation over the formation of a new coalition to replace the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government shook the nation.
As the rakyat eagerly awaits decisions made by the powers at be, TRP takes a recap to what transpired in Malaysia’s political landscape over the weekend.
Meetings around the block
On Sunday, February 23, it was understood that several of the nations main political fractions held private, closed door meetings around the Klang Valley.
Reportedly, a so-called “cartel” of Members of Parliament (MPs) said to be loyal to PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, gathered at the Sheraton Hotel, Petaling Jaya.
Separately, members of the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) supreme council held meetings just round the corner at the Menara Yayasan Selangor in PJ.
Meanwhile several Umno leaders were said to have gathered at its headquarters at the Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur after having met with PAS higher-ups during a gathering in Janda Baik, Pahang.
And members of the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) block held its own meeting at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, KL and saw Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal making an apperance.
While the slew of meetings were held across the city, reportedly a separate crowd was amassing at PKR president Datuk Sari Anwar Ibrahim’s residence in Segambut. During which the Reformasi leader mentioned that there has been an attempt to “betray” the PH coalition.
Then later in the evening, leaders from all stated political parties were said to be present at the Sheraton Hotel where Azmin’s cartel had been gathered.
An audience with the King
Concurrently as several of the meetings were taking place, leaders from the 6 aforementioned political parties gathered for an official audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA) Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustaffa Billah Shah at the Istana Negara in KL at around 7 pm.
Present during the meeting were Azmin Ali (PKR), UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, GPS president Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg, Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Warisan president Shafie Apdal.
The Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was also said to be in attendance during the meeting.
It’s speculated that the meeting between the country’s leaders was in order to discuss terms for the formation of a new, unnamed political coalition between the 6 parties. But politicians have been quiet to neither confirm or dismiss this claim.
Meanwhile, Anwar Ibrahim is scheduled to make his own appearance to the King later today.
Quarrels over transition of leadership
On Friday, February 21, PH held its first presidential council meeting for 2020 to an intense beat.
Members of the coalition had gathered to discuss the power transition between Dr Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim.
During the meeting, it was noted that PH’s top brass were split between those in support of Dr Mahatir to continue and complete his term as Prime Minister which would end in 2023, and those who want the current premier to set a retirement date, to make way for Anwar Ibrahim as the appointed successor to PH’s rule.
To recap, during the last general election (GE14), the PH coalition had appointed Dr Mahathir as its leader on the condition that the 95-year-old would eventually vacate the position to give way to Anwar Ibrahim.
As of Friday it was understood that Dr Mahathir was given full discretion to set a date for his eventual step down after the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (Apec), summit which is scheduled for November.
Stay tuned for upcoming developments on this groundbreaking issue.
While you wait, learn more about how Malaysia selects its prime minister in another one of our stories, HERE. Or find out more about how the nation’s parliament functions in our quick Parliament 101 article, HERE.
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Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Akmal returns to the newly improved TRP to uncover cold truths and walk the fine line between deep and dumb.