World

Anwar's bid to form govt on hold as King postpones meetings

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's royal palace postponed from yesterday all meetings for two weeks because of new coronavirus curbs, a palace official said, likely putting off a decision on a bid by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to form a new government.

Mr Anwar had on Tuesday met King Al-Sultan Abdullah to try to prove he had a "convincing" parliamentary majority to form a government, sparking a fresh bout of political wrangling just months after Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin took office.

The King was scheduled to meet leaders of main political parties to verify Mr Anwar's claim, but a two-week partial lockdown took effect from yesterday in Kuala Lumpur and the neighbouring state of Selangor.

"Yes, due to the CMCO and the implementation of National Palace lockdown," palace comptroller Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said, referring to a conditional movement control order as coronavirus cases spike.

The palace will set new dates for the meetings with party leaders after the curbs are lifted, Mr Ahmad Fadil said.

Malaysia reported 660 cases yesterday taking the total to 17,540. There were four deaths taking the toll to 167.

Meanwhile, Indonesia reported 4,127 infections yesterday, bringing the total to 344,749. There were 129 deaths, taking the toll past 12,000.

The Philippines recorded 1,910 cases yesterday, the lowest number in more than three weeks, and 78 more fatalities.

Infections had climbed to 346,536, while its death toll had risen to 6,449. - REUTERS

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