KUALA LUMPUR: Mr Ismail Sabri Yaakob will be the next prime minister of Malaysia, the palace said on Friday (Aug 20), following several days of political uncertainty.
Comptroller of the Royal Family and Household Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin, in a statement said that as 114 lawmakers have nominated Mr Ismail Sabri as their candidate for prime minister, the majority is sufficient to form a new government.
“With that and in line with Article 40(2)(a) and 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution, His Majesty has consented to appoint Ismail Sabri Yaakob (Bera MP) as the ninth prime minister of Malaysia," the statement read.
The swearing-in ceremony will be held on Saturday at 2.30pm.
With this appointment, King Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah said the government has to continue efforts to combat COVID-19 immediately.
"His Majesty expressed his views that with the appointment of a new prime minister, the political turmoil can end immediately and all MPs can set aside their political agendas and unite in handling COVID-19 for the sake of people and the country,” said Mr Ahmad Fadil.
The king reiterated that the people should not be burdened by endless political turmoil at a time of a health and economic crisis, the statement added.
"MPs are also reminded to display solidarity by prioritising and giving high levels of commitment and service to the people," it said.
Mr Muhyiddin Yassin's resignation on Monday had plunged Putrajaya into political turmoil. The king accepted his resignation and appointed him caretaker prime minister until a new government can be formed.
On Tuesday, the king summoned all major political party leaders to the palace, as he sought to identify a new prime minister. There are currently 220 MPs and two vacant seats in the Lower House.
All members of parliament (MPs) were asked to submit a declaration letter to the national palace to state an individual they support to be the next prime minister by 4pm on Wednesday.
The king also said on Wednesday the new prime minister should table a confidence motion in the parliament as soon as possible.
He summoned the 114 lawmakers who pledged support for Mr Ismail Sabri on Thursday, in order to verify their stand.
A special meeting of the Malay rulers was convened on Friday, during which the king shared the decision of the MPs with regard to who they backed as the next prime minister.
CONGRATULATORY MESSAGES POUR IN
On social media, fellow politicians congratulated Mr Ismail Sabri on his new position.
UMNO stalwart Hishammuddin Hussein, who served as senior minister and foreign minister alongside Mr Ismail Sabri in the Perikatan Nasional government, stressed that the country needed stability the most currently.
"This is so that the country can resume focusing on efforts to handle the COVID-19 crisis, revive the economy and protect the people's wellbeing," he wrote on Facebook.
Mr Mohamed Azmin Ali, who left Parti Keadilan Rakyat to join Mr Muhyiddin's Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia last year, tweeted: "Congratulations @IsmailSabri60 on your appointment as prime minister. I am confident that you will continue to build a strong and credible Malaysia."