Kuala Lumpur, 19 Aug — The Perikatan Nasional coalition unanimously agreed to nominate former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the new prime ministerial candidate of the PN government on conditional terms.
Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin today confirmed his former deputy as the coalition’s candidate of choice for the country’s top office, on condition that his Cabinet does not include those who are facing criminal charges in court.
“If appointed as prime minister by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, he must ensure that his Cabinet members will be composed of those with integrity, who are trustworthy and who are free from any criminal charges in court”.
“The government under his leadership must also continue the practice of respecting the separation of powers, protecting judicial independence, and upholding the Constitutional Monarchy,” he said in a statement today.
The former prime minister, who said he was forced out of office due to a group of kleptocrats scheming to escape corruption charges, said all 50 MPs from PN comprising 31 from Bersatu, 18 from PAS and one from STAR had stated their support for Ismail.
“Four independent MPs who are pro-PN have also done the same.”
According to him, the decision to nominate the UMNO vice-president was done to ensure continuity of the PN government’s policies, which are focused on tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and healing the nation until the time is right for the 15th General Election to be held.
The decision, he added, also proved that the PN government prioritized political stability and the people’s well-being rather than revenge politics and power struggles.
He said that when faced with a situation of crisis, politicians must be magnanimous for the best interests of the people and the nation.
At the same time, Muhyiddin also hoped that the process to appoint the new prime minister would go smoothly and be finalized in the nearest future in accordance with the Federal Constitution.
“As PN chairman, I will continue to serve the people and prepare the party to face GE15 when the time comes,” he said.