Ismail Sabri Appointed as New PM of Malaysia

Ismail Sabri becomes the new PM of Malaysia. (Photo: Thestar)

Kuala Lumpur, MINA – Malaysia’s Yang Dipertuan Agong (Raja) Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah on Friday appointed Ismail Sabri Yaakob as prime minister, replacing Muhyiddin Yassin who resigned earlier this week after losing majority support in parliament.

Ismail, 61, will be sworn in as Malaysia’s IX PM, on Saturday.

He is Vice President of the United Malay Organization Party (UMNO) and Deputy Prime Minister in the previous Muhyiddin Cabinet, Al Jazeera reported.

Ismail’s appointment essentially restored Muhyiddin’s alliance and brought back UMNO to power, the party that has led Malaysia since independence from Britain in 1957, but in the 2018 general election due to a multibillion-dollar financial scandal.

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The announcement of the Agong was issued after the king met with the rulers of the Malay state (the states of Malaysia).

The King’s role is largely ceremonial in Malaysia but he appoints a person he believes has majority support in Parliament as prime minister.

Sultan Abdullah said in a statement he hoped Ismail’s appointment would end the country’s political turmoil.

He urged lawmakers to put aside their political differences and unite to tackle the worsening pandemic in the country.

Ismail Sabri, who was elected to parliament in 2004, served as a cabinet minister under two other prime ministers before Muhyiddin. He holds portfolios such as rural and regional development, agriculture and domestic trade.

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In Muhyiddin’s government, Ismail Sabri was among the ministers tasked with framing Malaysia’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Angry Malaysians launched an online petition to protest Ismail’s candidacy with more than 340,000 signatures collected so far. Many believe Ismail’s appointment will restore the status quo, with a perceived failed response to the worsening pandemic.

Malaysia has one of the highest infection and death rates in the world, despite a seven-month state of emergency and a lockdown since June. Daily new infections have more than doubled since June to hit a new record 23,564 on Friday, bringing the country’s total to more than 1.5 million cases. Deaths have soared to over 13,000. (T/RE1)

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Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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