KUALA LUMPUR: De facto PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been seeking audiences with Malay rulers to assure them that the new government respected the royal institution.
Anwar had wanted to assure the rulers that Pakatan Harapan was not being controlled by the Chinese-majority DAP, which was part of the coalition, as claimed by Umno and Barisan Nasional in the run-up to last month’s general election.
“I told them not to worry because the government was not under DAP, and there were no attempts to eliminate the power of the rulers,” Anwar was quoted by news portal The Malaysian Insight (TMI) as having said in a speech at a Malaysian Muslim Youth Association (Abim) event at its headquarters in Kajang on Saturday night.
“The constitutional monarch will not lose power. I explained all this to them. My intention when I met them was clear, that is, to help explain the PH government’s policies to the rulers.”
TMI said the meetings had prompted rumours that Anwar was undermining Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad by forging a pact with the rulers, who share a testy relationship with the prime minister.
“I would like to stress that there were no such discussion with the rulers.”
The first meeting he had was with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V, on May 13.
Anwar was asked to meet the King at 10.50am before the Pardons Board meeting started at 11am to discuss his royal pardon.
The meeting was supposed to start at 11am, but at 10.50am I received an order to meet the sultan. I was still in the hospital at the time.”
TMI quoted Anwar as saying that the next meeting was with the Sultan of Johor, where he was accompanied by his daughter Nurul Izzah.
“First, we discussed the status of the constitutional monarchy and if there were plans to eliminate it. I stressed that all the parties under PH had agreed that they would defend the status of the constitutional monarchy.
“The second thing he asked was why I supported Dr Mahathir. I said he had done a lot and had contributed at a time while I was in prison and could not contest.
“The transition of power was also done in a peaceful manner. We have to convince the people that we are united, to enable Dr Mahathir and the cabinet to make tough and firm decisions.
“Like the investigation against former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. It was not easy. He has lots of funds, and he still holds sway among some in government and security officers.”
After meeting the sultan of Johor, Anwar said he went on to meet the sultans of Pahang, Perak, and most recently, Selangor, TMI said.
“The meeting with the sultan of Selangor was good and I was happy with the meeting. I said we would ensure that the status of Islam (as official religion of the country) and Bahasa Malaysia (as the national language) would remain, and I would assist the government, led by Dr Mahathir, with this.”