KUALA LUMPUR (June 10): Several more leaders of political parties were granted separate audiences by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at Istana Negara here today.
PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, who is also the environment and water minister, was the first leader to have an audience with His Majesty, spending about 75 minutes in the palace after he was seen arriving at 10.20am.
He was followed by MCA president and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, who arrived at 11.55am and left at 12.50pm.
In the afternoon, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is also Parti Pejuang Tanah Air's pro tem chairman, arrived at 2pm and was seen leaving the palace one hour later.
He was followed by Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, who arrived at Istana Negara at 3.10pm and left at 4.20pm.
Unlike yesterday, none of the leaders got down from their vehicles today to speak to reporters gathered outside the palace gates, probably to avoid running foul of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Leaders of political parties including from the opposition have been summoned for audiences with His Majesty beginning from yesterday. Leaders from Sarawak are scheduled to have a virtual audience with Al-Sultan Abdullah on June 14.
So far, the leaders of eight political parties have had audiences with Al-Sultan Abdullah.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was the first leader to go to the palace for his weekly audience to brief the King on developments regarding the country's administration.
Later yesterday, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is also the PKR president, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu (Mat Sabu) were also granted separate audiences by Al-Sultan Abdullah.
It is learnt that Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is scheduled to have his audience at 10am tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Tuan Ibrahim, in a statement, said the discussion lasting almost one hour touched on the Covid-19 issue, state of emergency and Parliament sittings.
"Tuanku (Al-Sultan Abdullah) was friendly and serious, especially when talking about matters related to current Covid-19 cases.
"PAS as part of the government will continue to support the stand taken to fight the Covid-19 pandemic in the country,” he added.
He was representing PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, who was being treated at the National Heart Institute here.