PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob could be interim Prime Minister if Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin steps down, says Tan Sri Shahrir Samad.
The former minister and MP said that before Ismail Sabri's appointment as Deputy Prime Minister on Wednesday (July 7), there were only senior ministers in the Cabinet.
"They would argue with one another because they did not know who... had the Prime Minister's trust.
"Now it is clear. Ismail Sabri can be the interim prime minister... the government won't be shaky," he said in a Facebook post on Thursday (July 8).
Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said on Thursday morning the party had decided to withdraw support for Muhyiddin with immediate effect.
The announcement led to a busy morning at Muhyiddin's residence in Kuala Lumpur with ministers and the Attorney General seen arriving in staggered groups.
Shahrir said Umno ministers in the Cabinet should not be ashamed of staying on after their party president's announcement as long as their principles and philosophies are clear.
"The Umno supreme council's stance should not make Umno ministers feel guilty or ashamed of Muhyiddin," he said.
After all, Shahrir noted, Muhyiddin remained in the Cabinet back in 2008 despite calling for the resignation of then prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi after Barisan Nasional's poor showing in the general election.
The polls saw Selangor and Penang falling to the then Pakatan Rakyat Opposition coalition and Barisan losing its two-thirds majority in Parliament.
"After calling for Abdullah's immediate resignation in Singapore, he continued to sit in the Cabinet chosen by Abdullah," Shahrir said.