Malaysian King summons Council of Sultans huddle

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s king on Wednesday called a special meeting of his fellow hereditary sultans to discuss who should be prime minister as an unprecedented post-election crisis entered its fourth day.
The king is due to pick a new prime minister after the leading contenders – opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and former premier Muhyiddin Yassin – failed to secure enough support for a majority following a Saturday election that produced an unprecedented hung parliament.
The uncertainty over the election prolongs political instability in the Southeast Asian country, which has had three prime ministers in as many years, and risks delaying policy decisions needed to foster economic recovery.
The Council of Rulers, which groups the heads of all nine royal houses, will meet on Thursday to discuss the formation of a new government, the palace said in a statement.
“The purpose of the meeting of the Council of Malay Rulers is for the King to get the thoughts of the Malay rulers so that he can make a decision for the wellbeing for the people and the country,” the palace said.
King Al-Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah is in the spotlight as he considers who will be the next prime minister, after both Anwar and Muhyiddin missed his Tuesday afternoon deadline to put together an alliance.
The constitutional monarch plays a largely ceremonial role but can appoint a premier he believes will command a majority in parliament. Malaysia has a unique constitutional monarchy in which kings are chosen in turn from the royal families of nine states to reign for a five-year term. –Agencies