PETALING JAYA: The ninth Prime Minister of Malaysia will be Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, says Istana Negara.
Comptroller of the Royal Household for Istana Negara Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has decreed the appointment of Ismail Sabri as the ninth Prime Minister, following the special meeting involving the Malay Rulers on Friday (Aug 20) afternoon.
"In line with Article 40(2)(a) and Article 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution, His Majesty has decreed to appoint Ismail Sabri as the ninth Prime Minister," said Ahmad Fadil in a statement.
Ahmad Fadil also said the swearing-in ceremony for Ismail Sabri as Prime Minister will take place on Saturday (Aug 21) at 2.30pm at Istana Negara.
Ahmad Fadil said the King had chaired a special meeting with the Malay Rulers that began at 2.30pm at Istana Negara and lasted for two-and-a-half hours on Friday (Aug 20).
During the meeting, the King had consented to the process of the appointment of a new prime minister, following Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's resignation on Monday (Aug 16).
Ahmad Fadil said this follows after the King had an audience with the heads of major political parties on Tuesday (Aug 17), where 220 MPs were told to nominate their respective prime minister candidates in a form of statutory declarations (SDs).
"The appointment of the next prime minister through these SDs was to assist His Majesty in making a decision to appoint an MP, who His Majesty believes to be supported by a majority of MPs to be the next prime minister, as provided under Article 43(2)(a) of the Constitution."
He said the Istana Negara had received the SDs signed by MPs on Wednesday (Aug 18), and 114 MPs have nominated Ismail Sabri as the prime minister.
"Following that, His Majesty decreed to grant audiences to the 114 MPs on Thursday (Aug 19) to verify their confidence towards the MP who they nominated as prime minister," he said.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Fadil said His Majesty has said that the new government headed by Ismail Sabri must continue efforts to combat Covid-19, as the people and the nation are badly affected by the ongoing pandemic.
"His Majesty is expressing hope that with the appointment of the new prime minister, the political impasse can be immediately ended, and all MPs can set aside their political agenda by uniting and cooperating to address the Covid-19 pandemic for the people and the country."
Ahmad Fadil also stressed the King had reiterated views that the "never-ending political skirmishes" must not affect the people, as the nation is battling a public health crisis and a stagnating economy caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
"MPs are also reminded to display solidarity by prioritising commitment and the best services for the people."
Ahmad Fadil said the King conveyed his appreciations towards the continuous support shown by the Malay Rulers in carrying out his duties and responsibilities based on the Constitution and the Rule of Law as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
"The Malay Rulers also support His Majesty's stance on forming a stable government as soon as possible, following the resignation of the prime minister, by conducting thorough evaluations through statutory declarations and verifications through physical and virtual audiences with the MPs.
"His Majesty is also urging the people to remain calm and pray together with His Majesty that this nation will always be under the protection of Allah SWT... and for the Covid-19 pandemic to be mitigated and ended immediately," Ahmad Fadil added.
On Monday (Aug 16), Muhyiddin announced his decision to resign as prime minister, saying it was in accordance with the Federal Constitution, as he no longer commanded majority support of the Dewan Rakyat.
At present, the 114 MPs supporting Ismail Sabri as prime minister consists of 41 MPs from Barisan, 31 MPs from Bersatu, PAS (18), Gabungan Parti Sarawak (18), Sabah STAR (one), Parti Bersatu Sabah (one) and four independent MPs.
It is understood that Umno's Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah abstained from supporting Ismail Sabri as prime minister.
On Tuesday (Aug 17), all MPs were instructed to submit their vote on their prime minister candidate to Istana Negara.