Malaysia’s Barisan Nasional will not support leading coalitions in forming a government


Voters line up to cast their ballots during the general election in Bera in Pahang state, Malaysia, November 19, 2022.

Xinhua news agency | Xinhua news agency | Getty Images

Malaysia’s longest-ruling political coalition, Barisan Nasional, has decided it will not support either of the two leading coalitions Pakatan Harapan or Perikatan Nasional, as the country’s king decides who will form the government.

The coalition, which won as many as 30 seats in Saturday’s general election, has also decided to remain in the opposition. This is one of the coalition’s worst election results in 60 years of rule, having failed to win re-election in 2018 due to the involvement of Barisan member and former Prime Minister Najib Razak in the 1MDB scandal.

Incumbent Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced the coalition’s decision at 2:00 PM Malaysian time, as both Pakatan and Perikatan were on their way to meet the king.

Separately, local media reported that the Warisan Party had declared its support for Pakatan and Barisan as the bloc with the most victories. This comes just as Barisan said it would not cooperate with Pakatan.

Malaysia faces a hung parliament as Pakatan, led by former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, holds the most seats in parliament at 82. A coalition would need 112 seats out of 222 to form a government.

The king, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, will now review the election results and deals made by Pakatan and Perikatan to decide the government and the prime minister.

The king spoke briefly to the audience after arriving at the Istana Negara. Speaking to reporters on the Istana, he called on Malaysians to be patient and to respect voters’ decisions.

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