Unusual audience points towards ‘political ceasefire’, say sources

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The call by the King to meet all heads of parties together with the speaker of Parliament and the Senate president has raised eyebrows, especially when he met the party heads separately in 2020 to determine who had the majority after Dr Mahathir Mohamad resigned as the prime minister.

This unusual audience could be interpreted in many ways, with some saying Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah could be using the powers vested upon him under the Federal Constitution to ensure that the right man gets the job, after Muhyiddin Yassin resigned as prime minister yesterday.

One source said this may mean the King wants transparency and also to listen to what the leaders have to say in front of each other, a move that may put some under stress while others may be happy to do this.

“Many say this a great move as some leaders seem to be hiding behind facades for political reasons. They will now be forced to be open and clear on what they have and want. It’s now about the nation, not politics anymore,” he said.

“This may be highly speculative but perhaps what the King wants is an open consensus rather than one that can be questioned after he decides, like the last time. He could probably ask them to show their support for each other in cases of doubt.”

The source said these points towards getting all parties on board in the form of a unity government to steer the country out of the current mess.

“This move could also see the start of a national healing process that could see better political days ahead,” he said.

The King is scheduled to have an audience with heads of all parties at Istana Negara at 2pm. It was also reported that the Dewan Rakyat speaker and the Senate president will be present.

Another source said this unprecedented move could also be seen as telling the leaders the King has a plan and it is going to be a royal decree which he wants implemented in no uncertain terms.

“The idea is to put in place a team of reliable people to take over the running of the nation for a year or so to get it back on track before handing the mandate back to the people to decide who should run the government,” he said.

He said while there could be some constitutional questions raised, the King must have been advised by some top legal brains on how this can be done, for a consensus to have a political ceasefire for a specified period.

“This could go down well with the rakyat as they are tired of all the politicking and the dubious claims of majority which change with the tide. Statutory declarations (SDs) are not the way to go anymore.”

He said SDs have become a farce and the King is obviously not going to accept them as a final document to make a decision as they have not worked in the past and will not work under the current political climate and alliances.

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