Malaysia’s King Al-Sultan Abdullah will consult with other senior royals on proposals by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, the palace said on Saturday, after sources said the premier had asked the king to declare a state of emergency.

Muhyiddin met with the king on Friday to present the emergency proposals that include a suspension of parliament, the sources with direct knowledge of the matter said, a move that opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim denounced as an attempt by the premier to retain control amid a power struggle.

The proposal comes as Malaysia faces a resurgence in coronavirus cases, a pandemic-battered economy and doubts over Muhyiddin’s ability to command a majority in parliament and pass a budget for 2021.

The palace did not identify the recommendations made by Muhyiddin, but said the king would soon hold the consultation with the heads of other royal households.

“Al-Sultan Abdullah greatly understands the need for the country’s administration to continue to tackle the threat of Covid-19,” the palace said in a statement.

Under the constitution, the king can decide if an emergency should be declared based on the threat to security, economy or public order. The Council of Rulers, which groups the heads of Malaysia’s nine royal houses, can deliberate on questions of national policy and has the power to withhold consent from any law.

A source familiar with the matter said the rulers will meet on Sunday. Muhyiddin’s office has not commented on the emergency proposal.

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