KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 — A total of 114 MPs have given their support in statutory declarations (SDs) to Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to be Malaysia’s next prime minister, according to Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan.
The Pontian MP who is also Umno secretary-general however, did not not say if the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has chosen to appoint Ismail, the Bera MP, to lead a new government.
“Today, 114 MPs who gave SDs in support of Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob from Bera as the candidate for the next prime minister, were interviewed one by one by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
“In a brief meeting, the MPs stated their names and from which area and expressed that their support is voluntary and without coercion,” he told reporters while on his way out of the palace here this afternoon.
Ahmad said there was no talk of who would be on the Cabinet during the audience with the King.
“There was no talk of Cabinet or other things, only focused on the statutory declarations towards Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob,” he said.
He indicated that the next government would be a temporary one for the management of Malaysia’s Covid-19 crisis.
The Health Ministry counted 22,948 new Covid-19 cases today, a new national record.
“We hope that there will be a government that cares for the people and the stability of the economy.
“When herd immunity is achieved and Covid-19 cases reduced, we will return the mandate to the people,” Ahmad said.
Minutes later, Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin issued a statement saying that the support of his coalition’s 54 MPs came with the condition that Ismail Sabri cannot appoint any ministers who have criminal charges pending.
Muhyiddin added that he has also had discussions with both Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Sabah Unity Party (PBS) that were in the previous PN government before agreeing to support Umno’s Ismail Sabri.
A total of 114 MPs from Umno, Bersatu, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), PAS, MIC, MCA, as well as those who are independent have been summoned for an audience with the King so they can personally verify their support for Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, one of the two main contenders for prime ministership.
The other candidate is Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Yesterday, Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Indera Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin reminded all 220 MPs to submit their statutory declarations on their personal choice for prime minister to Istana Negara before 4pm on the same day the statement was issued.
In the same statement, Istana Negara highlighted that Yang di-Pertuan Agong is expected to chair a special meeting of the Conference of Rulers tomorrow over current national issues.