KUALA LUMPUR: The search for Malaysia’s new prime minister continues as Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah is scheduled to meet the Malay Rulers at Istana Negara at 2.30pm today.
So far, it appears that former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is the only one who managed to gather a simple majority of 114 members of parliament.
However, given the razor-thin majority of three that Ismail Sabri possesses, political observers have voiced concern over the possibility of another political crisis in the near future during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Today, the Malay Rules are expected to issue a statement after discussing matters related to the appointment of the next PM.
On Tuesday, all 220 MPs were told to submit their declaration letters to the palace by Wednesday naming one candidate as the next premier.
It was also instructed that all the individual statutory declarations (SD) be private and confidential.
Experts said the King, shall at his sole discretion, appoint as premier the MP able to command a simple majority among all existing MPs.
Sources also claimed that the King is of the view that a suitable person must be appointed not merely due to their majority backing, but also considering the pandemic and economic situation the country is facing currently.
According to Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, the King had also decreed the next PM must test his majority in Parliament to ensure political stability and cooperation among parties.
Istana Negara had called all 114 MPs who declared support for the Umno vice-president to verify their nomination on Thursday.
Perikatan Nasional later issued a statement declaring conditional support for Ismail Sabri as PM as long as cabinet members selected are those with integrity, trustworthy and free from any criminal charges in court.
The nomination of the former deputy prime minister as the coalition’s new Prime Minister is backed by all 50 of its members of Parliament, including 31 from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), 18 from Pas, one from Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (Star) and four independent MPs.
Following the resignation of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as PM on Aug 16, the King also opined that the execution of the 15th General Election (GE15) is not the best option after taking into consideration the safety and wellbeing of the people during the current Covid-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who is also Pakatan Harapan PM candidate said political parties have agreed to a new political landscape that is more peaceful and refreshing to deal with Covid-19 after a meeting with the King.
The King had also consented to Muhyiddin being the caretaker prime minister until his successor is appointed.-NST