KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin remains Malaysia's plantation industries and commodities minister for the time being, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today.

Away in Japan on a working trip, he said he will decide on whether to accept her offer to resign her Cabinet position after he comes back to the country.

"Since it is still too early for me to make a decision as there is still no meeting as yet, no discussion and all, I am not commenting on that, on what is the next decision.

"Wait for me to return. I will call her and discuss and then I will make a decision," Ismail Sabri told reporters in Tokyo.

Malay Mail was able to obtain a video recording of the impromptu news conference.

Ismail Sabri said that Zuraida can still attend Cabinet meetings as she is not deemed to have resigned as minister nor was she sacked.

“Until she meets me and even if she meets me, I don’t know if I will make a decision or not. Meaning, until I decide for her to stop as a minister and I appoint another minister. If at all I appoint another minister. So we don’t know what will happen. Before that, continue as usual,” he added.

“Upset or not upset, nothing can be done anymore. That matter has been announced already. Now, we have to look forward. Look forward to the next decision,” he replied when asked if he was disappointed with Zuraida’s decision.

Zuraida announced her entry into Parti Bangsa Malaysia last Thursday, effectively exiting Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) which she joined after quitting PKR in February 2020, leading to the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan ruling coalition that had won the 2018 general election.

The Ampang MP, currently in Turkey on a working trip, offered to resign as minister in her Thursday statement.

Since then, Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said his party had the right to nominate a ministerial replacement to Zuraida.

Several Bersatu members are said to have been shortlisted, among them Senator Datuk Razali Idris and Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin.