Malaysia is in limbo after the Barisan Nasional, led by Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, backed out of talks with Anwar Ibrahim’s Pakatan Harapan .
The coalition met with its MPs today and decided to sit in opposition, refusing to support both the PH and TS Muhyiddin Yassin’s Perikatan Nasional.
Barisan was crushed in the Saturday elections, losing almost half of the seat it won in 2018 and ending third in the number of popular votes, overtaken by newcomer Perikatan and longtime challenger Harapan.
“They are still feeling the pain and the shame of the devastating defeat and it is not easy to be in BN’s place today with the opposition winning most seats,” says an analyst to TICO.
According to the analyst, Barisan members are in denial, believing they are still the “big party that they were in the past and are not moving on after the electoral backlash.”
The BN invited PH leaders to a meeting yesterday to discuss an agreement that would give birth to a BN-PH coalition led by Anwar Ibrahim.
However, many BN coalition MPs expressed their displeasure with working with the PH, calling on the party’s leader Zahid to resign in response to the party’s poor election performance or simply refusing to join any coalition with the PH or PN.
This has resulted in a mini-constitutional crisis in Malaysia, as there is no government and no Prime Minister three days after the election results were made official.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has urged the people to be patient as he decides who will lead the country and form the government.
He told reporters at the entrance to Istana Negara here at 2.20pm that it was critical for the ongoing impasse to end and for the country to move forward.
“We must move forward for the sake of the people,” he said.
According to Umno vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the Barisan Nasional (BN) will not support anyone in forming a government and will remain in opposition.
According to Ismail, the decision was made by the BN Supreme Council.
“Thank God, the BN Supreme Council has decided not to support any coalition government formation.”
“BN does not support either the Pakatan Harapan or the Perikatan Nasional.” For the time being, BN has agreed to remain in opposition,” he said in a Facebook post.
As for the PN, it claims it has the support of enough MPs for TS Muhyiddin Yassin to form the government. On paper, Muhyiddin has shown he has at least 103 MPs supporting him but this is short of the 112 threshold needed to control the Parliament.
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