KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob presented his list of candidates to be Cabinet ministers to Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, the palace confirmed this afternoon.
The Bera MP was granted an audience with Sultan Abdullah at Istana Abdulaziz in Kuantan, Pahang earlier this morning but the reason was not made clear despite news reports that it would centre on who would be in the new Cabinet.
“At the audience session which lasted for one hour 30 minutes starting at 11.00 this morning, His Majesty accepted the presentation of the list of new Cabinet members from Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, following his appointment as the ninth Prime Minister on August 21, 2021,” Istana Negara said in a statement on its official Facebook page.
The palace statement did not elaborate if there would be an announcement forthcoming later.
Anticipation of the new Cabinet has been growing since yesterday as many political observers thought the prime minister would have presented his list to the King then.
However, The Star cited an unnamed palace source saying the audience was delayed to today as the King was in Kuantan and not Istana Negara here.
Sultan Abdullah had called for a new government that cut across party lines prior to announcing Ismail’s appointment as prime minister on August 20, following the collapse of the previous Perikatan Nasional coalition government just 17 months after it wrested power from the Pakatan Harapan coalition, which lasted 22 months.
Ismail Sabri has been pressed to put together a Cabinet as quickly as possible as the country has been firefighting Covid-19 surges that exceeded 20,000 cases a day and which has exacted a heavy toll on the economy due to the rising death toll and prolonged lockdowns.
The Star also said the pressure is on Ismail Sabri to form a Cabinet before August 31 as the country has never marked Merdeka without a sitting government.