Malaysia King to Choose Prime Minister Amid Hung Parliament

Malaysian King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah
Malaysian King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah (Photo: Reuters)

Malaysia’s King Al-Sultan Abdullah said yesterday that he will choose the country’s next prime minister after last weekend’s election ended in a hung parliament.

Although opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim won the most seats, his Pakatan Harapan coalition fell short of a majority. The ruling coalition led by Sabi Yaakob, meanwhile, suffered its worst electoral defeat, winning just 30 of the 178 seats it ran for, with veteran politician Mahathir Mohamad losing his seat.

The king had given political parties until 2 pm on Tuesday to put together alliances needed for the majority, however, candidates failed to do so after the incumbent Barisan Nasional coalition refused to align with either.

Observers have called the country ‘politically unstable’ having been through three prime ministers since 2018.

The decision is now in the hands of the nation’s king, who generally plays a more ceremonial role in the constitutional monarchy but has the authority to nominate anybody he deems will command a majority.

Asking Malaysians to accept any decision about the government formation, he told reporters outside the national palace yesterday he would make his decision soon.

He met with both Anwar and Muhyiddin, and summoned lawmakers from the Barisan Nasional coalition for a meeting today, Reuters reports.

Meanwhile, authorities have warned social media users in the country not to post provocative content on race and religion after the divisive election.