Asia World

Sat 17 October 2020:

Malaysia’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim  was summoned to the police headquarters to give his statement on Friday

Police said in a statement Thursday they received 113 complaints over a list of 121 lawmakers allegedly backing Anwar. They didn’t disclose details of the complaints. The list has made rounds on social media.

Police said they are investigating the complaints under provisions in the penal code covering statements of public mischief and a multimedia law on the improper use of network facilities to harass someone.

Political harassment

On Friday Anwar Ibrahim said that support from parliamentarians for his desire to become prime minister was not a police matter. 

That was after he was summoned by police to give a statement regarding a viral list of federal parliamentarians who allegedly backed his bid to claim premiership.

“I do not get it why the police are too fixated with the list,” said Anwar after talking to police.  

He said his visit to Bukit Aman was a form of cooperation with the police. 

“I am not here to give names and cooperate with their political masters. It is not their business. It is between me and Yang di-Pertuan Agong,” he said, referring to the constitutional monarch.  

The People’s Justice Party president believes he was summoned to Bukit Aman because of “political pressure.”

“Obviously this is a political harassment and there are political instructions given to the police,” said Anwar.

He also said he has not been consulted regarding the proposed motion of no-confidence against Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“The investigations were carried out professionally without any political pressure or orders from any quarters,” Huzir Mohamed, the police criminal investigation department director, said in a statement Saturday.

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

After Anwar’s audience with the king, the key ally in Muhyiddin’s ruling coalition threatened to withdraw support for the government amid anger over being sidelined despite being the biggest party.

Several lawmakers, both in the ruling 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 premier.

Muhyiddin has said he would leave it to King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah to decide on the political tussle, which is likely to drag on as the monarch has postponed meetings with party leaders due to restrictions imposed in Kuala Lumpur this week to stem a surge in coronavirus cases.

The king Thursday advised political leaders to “avoid plunging 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.

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