Ismail Sabri is Malaysia’s 9th PM

By ASILA JALIL / Pic by BERNAMA

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has been appointed as the new Prime Minister (PM) following a week of guessing game on the possible candidates that would secure the country’s top post.

The decision was made after Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah’s two-hour meeting with Malay Rulers at the palace today to discuss the candidates after Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin stepped down from the position on Monday.

Comptroller of the Royal Household for Istana Negara Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said 220 members of parliament (MPs) submitted their choice of PM candidates to the palace via statutory declaration (SD) on Wednesday.

“From the SDs, 114 MPs had nominated Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob (Bera MP), a majority that is sufficient to form a new government.

“Following that, His Majesty agreed to an audience with 114 of the MPs yesterday to verify their support for the nominated MP to be appointed as the PM.

“Therefore, in line with Article 40(2)(a) and Article 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution, His Majesty appointed Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the ninth PM,” he said in a statement today.

The next process will be the swearing-in ceremony which is scheduled to be at 2.30pm tomorrow (Aug 21) at Istana Negara.

Ahmad Fadil said the King decreed that the government should continue its efforts in swiftly fighting the pandemic for the benefit and safety of the people as well as the country’s well being which has been greatly affected by the health crisis.

The King also hoped the appointment of the new PM would put an end to the country’s political turmoil, with all members of the Dewan Rakyat putting aside their political agenda and unite to manage the pandemic.

“His Majesty reiterated his view that the people should not be burdened with the never-ending political issues when the country is grappling with a health and economic crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Dewan Rakyat members were also reminded to show solidarity by prioritising, showing great commitment and providing the best service to the people,” he said.

Ahmad Fadil added that the Conference of Rulers also supported the King’s stance on the immediate formation of a stable government following Muhyidddins’ resignation by conducting thorough research and observation via SDs and verifying them through a physical and virtual meeting with all MPs.

Under the previous Perikatan Nasional government, Ismail Sabri served as the deputy prime minister and the minister of defence.

Meanwhile, Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor congratulated Ismail Sabri on his appointment as the new PM and claimed the latter has the expertise and qualification needed to lead the country.

The Gabungan Rakyat Sabah chairman said the state government fully supports the PM and hoped ties between both the state and federal level administration will be successful in developing Sabah while taking into account the state’s rights.

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