‘Support for Ismail Sabri conditional’


PETALING JAYA: Perikatan Nasional’s support for Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as prime minister is conditional upon him appointing Cabinet members who are not facing any criminal charges in court, says its chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“If appointed as prime minister by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, he must ensure that his Cabinet members will be composed of those with integrity, who are trustworthy and free from any criminal charges in court,” said Muhyiddin, who is also caretaker prime minister in a statement yesterday.

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He also confirmed that all 50 Perikatan MPs, of which 31 are from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, 18 from PAS, one from Sabah STAR, as well as four Perikatan-friendly independents, had handed over statutory declarations (SDs) naming Ismail Sabri as their choice to Istana Negara on Wednesday.

He also negotiated with Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) to adopt the same decision to support Ismail Sabri, who was also Muhyiddin’s deputy prime minister in the Perikatan government.

“This decision was made to ensure continuity of Perikatan policies, which have been focused on battling Covid-19 and healing the nation until the right time comes for the 15th General Election to be held.

“This also means that Perikatan prioritises political stability and the people’s well-being above revenge politics and power struggles.

“When faced with such a situation of crisis, politicians must be magnanimous for the best interests of the people and the nation,” said Muhyiddin.

He added that if Ismail Sabri is appointed as the next premier, the Perikatan government under his leadership must also continue the practice of respecting the principles of separation of powers, protecting judicial independence and upholding the Constitutional Monarchy.

“I hope that the process of appointing the next prime minister will go on smoothly and be finalised soon according to the provisions of the Federal Constitution.

“As Perikatan chairman, I will continue to serve the people and get the party ready to face GE15 when the time comes,” he said.

On Monday, Muhyiddin handed his resignation to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as prime minister following the revocation of support by several Umno MPs including its president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He was later appointed as caretaker prime minister by the King while the search went on for the next office bearer.

Yesterday, the King had an audience with 114 MPs who named Ismail Sabri as their choice for prime minister.

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