KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia’s police said on Monday they have asked opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to give a statement after they received complaints about names of lawmakers appearing in news media reportedly backing his claim to the premiership.
Anwar last week announced he had been granted an audience with King Al-Sultan Abdullah on Tuesday to present documentation “of the strong and convincing majority” of legislators behind his bid to replace Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Police in a statement said they had received unspecified complaints over a widely circulated list of 121 federal lawmakers who supposedly were backing Anwar’s bid.
So far there have been no significant public endorsements for Anwar.
Police said one of the complaints was lodged by a member of parliament but did not disclose the identities of the other complainants, or what the complaints entailed.
“The police urge the public not to be concerned by the spread of the news and advises all interested parties against spreading news that has yet to be verified,” Criminal Investigations Department Director Huzir Mohamed said.
“The police will not hesitate to take action against those who spread news that is false, unverified and misleading.”
Huzir said they had initially asked Anwar to give his statement on Monday morning, but due to scheduling conflicts they will set a new date for their meeting.
Anwar said members of his People’s Justice Party have been instructed not to hold any gatherings while he attends his audience with the king.
“I also call upon all Malaysians to keep calm as this audience session takes place, and to remain calm for any subsequent process that takes place thereafter,” Anwar said.
(Reporting by Joseph Sipalan; Editing by Martin Petty)