Barisan MPs in the centre of drama

Ready to meet: Ismail Sabri arriving at St Regis Hotel in Kuala Lumpur as the wait continues. — LOW BOON TAT/THE STAR

KUALA LUMPUR: The 30 MPs of Barisan Nasional were in the centre of all the drama as a flurry of meetings were held with still no decision on the new Federal Government.

It’s been four days since results of the 15th General Election (GE15) yielded a hung Parliament, but with the King and his fellow royals stepping in, there could finally be an end to the impasse very soon.

Yesterday, the King summoned the 30 MPs for an audience before him at 10.30am at Istana Negara.

The MPs, who had asked for a postponement of the audience a night earlier, did not show up.

Instead, Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was there, with his deputy Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and secretary-general Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir.

They arrived at about 10.40am and left at about 11.25am.

In an unexpected move, the King also summoned senior MPs representing Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) yesterday.

A convoy comprising the Sarawak party leaders was seen entering Istana Negara at about 11.05am.

Among the GPS representatives were Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof and Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi, both from Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB). They left about an hour later.

Following the meeting, GPS said it would wait for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decision on the appointment of the 10th prime minister.

Istana Negara then issued a statement saying the King would be meeting his fellow Rulers at a special gathering at 10.30am today.

It is understood His Majesty will be seeking the opinions of his brother Rulers on breaking the impasse.


The meetings yesterday came after Pakatan Harapan chairman Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had been summoned to the Palace on Tuesday.

Both Muhyiddin and Anwar have been named as prime ministerial candidates by their respective coalitions, although neither has the majority to form the government.

On Tuesday, Muhyiddin had turned down a suggestion that both coalitions form a unity government.

Muhyiddin himself left his residence in Bukit Damansara at 8am and returned at noon. Media personnel had gathered there as early as 8.30am.

He did not stop to address the media but Bersatu, of which Muhyddin is president, made sure they were well fed.

Party deputy president Datuk Seri Faizal Azumu distributed packs of nasi ganja to the media.

At about 2pm, Perikatan secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin’s car was seen arriving at Muhyiddin’s private residence.

It is believed Muhyiddin and Hamzah took the same vehicle to go to the St Regis Hotel for a meeting with Barisan leaders shortly after.

Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob also came to the hotel at about 2.57pm, as did Umno deputy president Mohamad and Gerakan president Datuk Dr Dominic Lau.

The meeting at St Regis Hotel ended after about two hours but none of the leaders met the media as they left using the hotel’s back entrance.

Anwar, meanwhile, left his residence at Sungai Long at about 11.20am. He stopped to tell the media he was on his way to “tengok wayang” (to see a movie or to watch the drama), leaving newsmen bewildered at his cryptic statement.

He arrived at his office in Bukit Gasing half an hour later.

Among the PKR leaders who gathered there were deputy president Rafizi Ramli, secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, vice-president Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, youth chief Adam Adli and information chief Fahmi Fadzil.

Nik Nazmi said it was a normal PKR meeting while Adam said it was to talk about the recent racial sentiments that were being fanned by some for self-interest.

Also there were Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari and Sabah Parti Cinta Malaysia president Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.

All of them left just before 4pm.

There was food at the Anwar camp too. His aides handed out packets of turmeric fried chicken to the media gathered there. There was also pisang goreng available.

And Anwar continued to tease the media as he left at about 4.50pm.

“Here is some popcorn, go watch a movie,” he said, winding down his window.

Several of his officers later came out and handed out bags of GSC popcorn.

It was not confirmed if Anwar was rushing off to attend Pakatan’s candidate announcement for the Padang Serai by-election in Kulim, Kedah at 8.30pm yesterday.

At the same hour, Umno leaders were huddled at their headquarters at Menara Datuk Onn for a supreme council meeting.

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