Home South East Asia Malaysia Malaysian probe Anwar over bid to become PM

Malaysian police probe Anwar over bid to become PM

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Malaysian police questioned on Friday over his push to topple the and become prime minister, with the opposition leader slamming the as “political harassment”.

The veteran politician announced last month he had garnered enough from MPs to seize from a shaky, seven-month-old coalition led by Yassin.

He met , appoints the prime minister, this week to make his case, although Muhyiddin has dismissed his challenge and others have raised doubts about whether he has the backing.

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Anwar had been seen as the country’s prime minister-in-waiting until a reformist , of which he was a leading member, collapsed in February amid bitter infighting.

Police called Anwar in for questioning following complaints from lawmakers whose names were included in a list that circulated online of those supposedly backing him.

Anwar said police had asked him to hand over the list of MPs but he refused on the grounds that only the has a right to see .

“What is mind-boggling is that they want the list,” the 73-year-old told reporters.

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“This is an attempt by the political masters to oppress me — this is malicious, it is political harassment.”

Officials are investigating Anwar under two laws — one against remarks that are intended to cause public alarm, and another against sharing offensive content.

Anwar has claimed more than 120 MPs back him to become premier and that will meet political leaders to assess his claim.

A prime minister must command the support of at least half the MPs in ’s 222-seat parliament.

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If Anwar manages to seize power, it would mark the end of a two-decade quest for the premiership.

He spent years in jail on dubious charges but was released in 2018 after his opposition alliance, which was headed by Mohamad, stormed to victory against a long-ruling regime.

After their government unravelled, Muhyiddin seized power without an election, but his administration has only a two-seat majority in parliament and is highly unstable.

sr/mtp

© Agence France-Presse

/AFP

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