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The king has named Ismail Sabri Yaakob as Malaysia’s ninth prime minister.

He will succeed Muhyiddin Yassin, who resigned as prime minister on Monday. The 61-year-old is the vice-president of the UMNO political party and was previously the deputy prime minister under Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional government. Ismail was also the defense minister before the cabinet resigned.

He will be sworn in as prime minister at 2:30pm tomorrow, according to a statement from the Royal Palace.

The decision came after Malay rulers convened a special meeting at the palace in Kuala Lumpur today to discuss the country’s current political issues, particularly in relation to the appointment of the country’s next prime minister.

The appointment by the king, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, was announced by Comptroller of the Royal Household Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin. The decision was made based on the amount of support Ismail had among lawmakers in the Lower House of Parliament.

All 114 Members of Parliament from parties Barisan Nasional, Perikatan Nasional, Gabungan Parti Sarawak, and also independent MPs arrived at the Royal Palace yesterday to nominate. Those from the opposition bloc, which includes members of the Pakatan Harapan coalition, were not granted an audience. 

UMNO, which has been linked to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal, had earlier this week publicly nominated Ismail as their option for prime minister. Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional coalition supporters later nominated Ismail as well, but on condition that those facing court charges not be appointed as cabinet ministers.  

Meanwhile, those from the opposition preferred their leader, Anwar Ibrahim, to be prime minister.

The king also decreed that the new prime minister must seek a vote of confidence as soon as possible to determine his legitimacy and majority support in the Lower House, and reminded victorious party leaders and representatives to extend a hand of cooperation to those who are not successful and to work as a team to maintain harmony. 

Almost 16,000 tweets for #NotmyPM and more than 1,500 tweets for #KerajaanGagal went up on Twitter soon after the announcement was made.

UMNO’s MP for the Sembrong constituency, Hishammuddin Hussein, was quick to congratulate Ismail as the next prime minister on social media.

Other stories:

Muhyiddin Yassin’s camp shore up support for Ismail Sabri Yaakob as Malaysia’s PM9

COVID-19 vigil attendees hauled up by police slapped with RM2,000 fines

This article, Ismail Sabri Yaakob named Malaysia’s next prime minister, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company.

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