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Malaysian opposition warns some MPs getting pushed to back Anwar

BLOOMBERG – The main opposition party in Malaysia said some of its lawmakers were being coerced or bribed to shift their support to Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, and plans to lodge complaints with the police and anti-graft agency.

Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), which leads the opposition alliance, found that four lawmakers were getting threatened with legal action or offered cash bribes to back Datuk Seri Anwar, its President Muhyiddin Yassin said.Two of them were suspended from Bersatu and relieved of their party positions, and the other two are set to meet a similar fate, he said at a press conference.

The four lawmakers in recent weeks have switched their allegiance to Anwar’s coalition, giving him super majority support nearly a year after he cobbled together a coalition following a hung Parliament result. The increased support could help Anwar carry out plans to restructure the economy and narrow the budget deficit.

The Prime Minister’s Office did not respond to a request for comment. Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the rise in support should be seen as a positive and more lawmakers will switch allegiances, national news agency Bernama reported.

Many lawmakers from Bersatu have been approached to back Anwar, according to party’s youth chief Wan Ahmad Faysal Wan Ahmad Kamal yesterday.

“I was also offered to support the government but I rejected them,” he said.

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim greets supporters. PHOTO: AFP