Malaysian king summons more party leaders for meeting

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Istana Negara Malaysia Malaysia's Istana Negara, the national palace. (Photo: Bernama) 

10 Jun 2021 01:42PM (Updated: 10 Jun 2021 01:50PM)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian King Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah kicked off his second day of meeting political leaders on Thursday (Jun 10) by granting an audience to the deputy chief of Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS). 

Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man was seen arriving at Istana Negara at 10.20am, according to Malay Mail.

Malaysian Chinese Association president Wee Ka Siong followed suit around noon. 

Parti Pejuang Tanah Air chairman Mahathir Mohamad and Parti Warisan Sabah president Mohd Shafie Apdal were scheduled to meet the king on Thursday as well, local media reported. 

United Malays National Organisation president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s turn is on Friday, while all leaders from Gabungan Parti Sarawak have been invited for an audience with the king via video conferencing on Monday. 

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, Democratic Action Party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu were present at the palace on Wednesday, after the king had a pre-Cabinet meeting with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in the morning. 

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It was widely speculated that the political landscape would be among the meeting agenda, but the politicians told the media that the discussions revolved around COVID-19 and parliament sitting which is currently suspended due to the state of emergency. 

Mr Anwar said he pleaded for the king to not extend the state of emergency, while Mr Mohamad said he requested for parliament to reconvene.

Formation of a new government was “a matter that does not arise for now”, Mr Anwar told journalists outside the palace on Wednesday. 

In a statement, the palace said the king’s meeting with Mr Muhyiddin was a routine discussion on government affairs and issues. 

In January, the king had declared a state of emergency across the nation to curb the spread of COVID-19. It is set to end on Aug 1 or earlier depending on the state of the pandemic. 

The state of emergency has put parliamentary sitting and state assemblies as well as elections on hold, while economic activities were allowed to continue. 

READ: Parents in Malaysia fret over academic progress amid prolonged school closure, online learning

Opposition MPs and activists set up a Committee for Ending the Emergency Declaration in March and launched a petition to appeal for an end to the state of emergency. 

Mr Muhyiddin, who is under pressure from the opposition parties as well as coalition partners to prove the parliamentary support he commands, has reiterated that he would advise the king to dissolve parliament once the COVID-19 pandemic is under control. 

Malaysia is currently under renewed movement restrictions as record high daily new infections and deaths were recorded.