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Malaysian MPs backing Ismail Sabri as next PM meet with the king to verify their support

Malaysian MPs backing Ismail Sabri as next PM meet with the king to verify their support

File photo of Ismail Sabri Yaakob on May 11, 2020. (Photo: AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian lawmakers who are backing Mr Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the next prime minister met the king on Thursday (Aug 19), according to local media.

Buses and vehicles carrying United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) MPs were seen entering the national palace from 10.38am, according to Bernama. 

Mr Ismail Sabri, who is Bera MP, arrived at about 1.20pm, local media reported. 

Mr Muhyiddin Yassin, who resigned as prime minister on Monday, entered the palace at 2.50pm. 

Petra Jaya MP Fadillah Yusof from GPS was quoted as saying by the Star that the representatives were called one by one to verify the content of their statutory declarations and that their choice of prime minister candidate was made voluntarily. 

On Wednesday night, Bernama, citing a Barisan Nasional (BN) source, tweeted: “MPs who signed statutory declarations (SDs) supporting Ismail Sabri as prime minister candidate are expected to be at the National Palace on Thursday.”

In order to "verify their stand", the king has summoned to the Istana the 114 MPs who signed statutory declarations supporting Mr Ismail Sabri, the Star reported.

The lawmakers met the king in groups, starting from 10am. 

According to the Star report, the MPs are from Perikatan Nasional (PN), BN, GPS, Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) from Sabah and independents who have backed Mr Ismail Sabri to be the next prime minister.

All MPs have submitted their statutory declarations to the palace, stating who they support as the country’s next leader, wrote the Star.

The Lower House currently has 220 MPs and two vacant seats. With 114 lawmakers backing Mr Ismail Sabri, who is from UMNO, he will garner a simple majority.

Mr Muhyiddin's resignation on Monday plunged the country into yet another political vacuum.

This will be the second change in government within two years, since Pakatan Harapan unseated the long-time BN government in May 2018, only to be replaced by the PN government in March last year. 

On Friday, the king will preside over a special meeting of the Malay rulers. 

He has also said that the next prime minister should table a confidence motion in the parliament as soon as possible.

Source: Agencies/aw
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