Unity govt idea led M’sia out of GE15 uncertainty

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof remembers how during the uncertain days after the 15th General Election (GE15), Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah successfully managed the competing demands from different political coalitions creatively and impartially.

After GE15, no single political coalition won enough seats to form the government, said the Deputy Prime Minister.

“The Yang di-Pertuan Agong then issued an order for all coalitions to nominate an MP who had the confidence of the majority as a candidate for the 10th Prime Minister,” said Fadillah, who is part of the Sarawak coalition Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).

“On Nov 23, the GPS delegation, comprising Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi, Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem and Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, had an audience with His Majesty at Istana Negara.

“Barisan Nasional, too, was also summoned. In this pivotal gathering, His Majesty proposed that GPS and all other parties deliberate the establishment of a unity government as a means to solve the political impasse,” said Fadillah.

Upon realising that His Majesty only had the country’s well-being at heart, GPS decided to accept the idea.

After the unity government proposal was backed by Barisan, GPS, Gabungan Rakyat Sabah and Pakatan Harapan, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was appointed as the 10th Prime Minister.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail also vividly remembered those meetings with Sultan Abdullah.

“The nation was at a critical period after the GE15 results were announced and I was by the side of Anwar as we tried to form a government. On Nov 22, Tuanku summoned Anwar to the palace and I accompanied him,” said Saifuddin Nasution, who was Anwar’s compatriot in Pakatan.

“Tuanku then proposed a ‘unity government’ comprising representatives from all parties which had won GE15, to which Anwar agreed.

“The wisdom of Tuanku was exemplified in navigating that critical period,” he said.

Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also praised Sultan Abdullah for his unity government idea.

“His Majesty had carried out his role justly and with much wisdom – as written in the Federal Constitution – to ensure a government was formed by taking into account views of all parties,” said Ahmad Zahid, who is also Deputy Prime Minister.

“The unity government was His Majesty’s manifestation of the spirit of tolerance and cooperation. He sought to nurture understanding, put aside differences for the sake of building a harmonious, inclusive nation,” said Ahmad Zahid.

Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan described Sultan Abdullah’s reign as “a showcase to the world that Malaysia’s unique political system is not just relevant but a shining example of how tradition and modernity can co-exist harmoniously”.

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, His Majesty’s pivotal role ensured that the nation’s response was both compassionate and effective,” said the Defence Minister.

“The appointment of three different Prime Ministers during his reign is a testament to his commitment to stability, democracy and the rule of law.

“Each decision, no matter how complex or contentious, was made in a collective manner, always in consultation with his fellow Rulers through the Conference of Rulers.

“His Majesty revitalised the essence of this conference, demonstrating its significance and relevance in the modern era,” he said.

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