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Muhyiddin poised for comeback as Anwar, too, claims numbers to form govt

Perikatan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan emerged as the biggest winners in the Nov 19 polls, relegating Barisan Nasional to the sidelines.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin with other coalition leaders at Glenmarie in Shah Alam.
Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin with other coalition leaders at Glenmarie in Shah Alam.

Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH) both claimed victory at the 15th general election (GE15), emerging as the biggest winners in the Nov 19 polls although short of the simple majority needed to form the federal government.

PN chairman Muhyiddin Yassin said he had already secured enough numbers from other coalitions to add to the 73 seats won at press time, while PH chairman Anwar Ibrahim, whose coalition has bagged 79 seats so far, claimed his side had already crossed the threshold required to form the government.

Muhyiddin said negoations were underway with partners in Sarawak and Sabah, a reference to GPS and GRS which previously joined his 17-month administration.

"So far, it has been encouraging," Muhyiddin said to loud applause from supporters gathered at the PN election centre in Glenmarie, Shah Alam.

With 220 seats contested, any bloc will need 111 seats to form the government.

Anwar meanwhile refused to reveal how he had reached a majority, but insisted that he had the numbers.

Pakatan Harapan supporters gather in Subang for the results of the 15th general election. 

This follows a swing in the Malay heartlands which saw PN winning in seats traditionally considered as Umno's fort, while pushing the Umno-led Barisan Nasional to the periphery.

Despite PH winning slightly more seats, PN's close ties with GPS in Sarawak (22 seats) and Sabah's GRS (six seats), with whom it formed the government in March 2020, look set to allow it to dominate in a future coalition government.

Muhyiddin said that Istana Negara had given instructions on the next steps based on the wishes of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. 

"We don't have to reveal it," he added. 

Pakatan Harapan chairman Anwar Ibrahim speaks at a press conference in Subang. 

He also said he would work with any party to reach the numbers needed to form the government.

His statement was interrupted by shouts of "Tolak Zahid" from supporters, a reflection of anger at Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who was intsrumental in toppling Muhyiddin's 17-month government at the height of the pandemic last year.

Muhyiddin also said PN would join forces with any bloc that shared its principles.

When questioned, he ruled out PH as a future partner.