MIRI, Aug 19 — All 18 members of Parliament from PAS nominated Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as their pick for prime minister, to complete the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government’s unfinished agenda, said Sarawak PAS commissioner Jofri Jeraiee.
He was asked on the reasons behind his party’s decision to support Ismail Sabri ahead of other contenders for the nation’s top post following the resignation of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister on Aug 16 after failing to secure the support of the majority of members of Parliament.
PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, after a special meeting with Umno at its headquarters yesterday, told reporters that all the party’s MPs fully support the former Deputy Prime Minister and all their statutory declarations had been sent to Istana Negara as decreed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Asked on the rationale, Jofri said: “This is to continue the incomplete agenda of the PN government for the welfare of the people and also to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.”
PAS representation in parliament is 18, the same number with Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and they were allies in the PN government led by Muhyiddin.
Asked on how Sarawak will benefit under Ismail Sabri’s leadership and the new government, he said it was premature to comment but stressed that the new government must continue the unfinished agenda of the previous PN government to fight the Covid-19 epidemic and safeguard the wellbeing of Malaysians.
On PAS Sarawak’s expectations for the state, he hoped the new government remains committed to helping those who are still marginalised and Sarawak will be given priority in the development process.
“Everyone must work together regardless of race, religion and political affiliation for the benefit of the people,” he said.
The PN government fell after 15 Umno MPs retracted their support for Muhyiddin, who is also president of Parti Pribumi Malaysia Bersatu which is PAS ally in PN.
PAS and Umno are also partners under the Muafakat Nasional (MN) charter. Umno’s decision to retract its support for the PN government had led to the resignation of Muhyiddin as prime minister, leading to contenders scrambling to garner sufficient support for the coveted post.
The top contenders are Ismail Sabri and Pakatan Harapan’s choice Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim while Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, former senior minister for security cluster Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein and Warisan’s Datuk Seri Shafiee Apbdal of Sabah were also mentioned to be in the list.
The MP who can get the support of 111 MPs can get the nod from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong who has also decreed that the new Prime Minister must also prove his support in parliament after instructing all MPs to state their written choice of candidate and send it to the palace by 4pm yesterday.
The Rulers Conference will sit tomorrow on the issue before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong announces the 9th Prime Minister of Malaysia, the third prime minister since the last general election. — Borneo Post