By Jerry Choong
SHAH ALAM, Nov 24 — Newly-appointed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has announced that Parliament will convene next month on December 19.
He said the first motion to be made, following the respective swearing-in ceremonies, is for a vote of confidence from the government.
“This is to ensure there are no doubts over the strength and validity of this unity government,” Anwar said during a press conference tonight, following his prime ministerial swearing-in and appointment ceremony earlier in the evening.
He thanked Gabungan Parti Sarawak chairman Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg for his agreement to join the new unity government, adding to its existing strength in the Dewan Rakyat.
“I must state as a matter of fact that my administration will continue to respect the Constitutional guarantees; the primacy of Bahasa Malaysia as the national language, Islam as the Federation’s official, religion, the special privileges of the Malays, and the position of the Malay Rulers.
“But every Malaysian, regardless of ethnicity, religion or regional origin, will not be marginalised under my administration,” Anwar said to general applause.
The Tambun MP said his primary focus as premier will be to rectify the national economy and ensure the welfare of the people, particularly the poor and marginalised communities, are protected.
Following a five-day impasse in the wake of the 15th general election on November 19, Anwar was appointed as Malaysia’s 10th Prime Minister by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah this evening.
His Majesty convened a special meeting of the Conference of Rulers at Istana Negara earlier in the day, so as to seek their views and efforts on the formation of a unity government.
This process enabled the King to decide on an MP who, in His Majesty’s opinion, commands the majority support of members of the Dewan Rakyat to be the Prime Minister.
After considering the opinions of the Malay Rulers, Al-Sultan Abdullah consented to appoint Anwar as Prime Minister, in line with the powers vested upon His Majesty under Articles 40(2)(a) and 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution.