KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 — Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has arrived at Istana Abdulaziz in Kuantan, Pahang for an audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, with Malaysians anticipating the announcement of a new Cabinet.
The prime minister flew into the east coast state this morning and his motorcade reached the state palace at 10.53am, national news agency Bernama reported on Twitter.
Discussions are believed to centre on Ismail’s Cabinet lineup, which the new prime minister has promised to announce this week.
The Star reported earlier that Ismail was supposed to present his proposal of ministers to Sultan Abdullah yesterday but the audience was postponed as the King is in the Pahang state capital.
Kenderaan membawa Perdana Menteri @IsmailSabri60 memasuki perkarangan Istana Abdulaziz di Kuantan, pada pukul 10.53 pagi dipercayai untuk mempersembahkan senarai nama Kabinet bagi perkenan Seri Paduka Baginda. pic.twitter.com/AOQIwpvXzU
— BERNAMA (@bernamadotcom) August 26, 2021
The King had called for a new government that cut across party lines prior to 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 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 to form a Cabinet before August 31 as the country has never marked Merdeka without a sitting government.
The ninth prime minister has said he will not include members of the Opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition in his Cabinet.
However, after a meeting yesterday, both Ismail and PH leaders issued separate statements that they had reached a consensus to set aside partisanship to work together on strengthening Parliament, ensuring judicial independence and institutional reforms in the country’s governance amid the growing Covid-19 crisis.