Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Ismail Sabri Yaakob sworn in as Malaysia’s 9th PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 21 — Mr Ismail Sabri Yaakob has been sworn in as Malaysia’s ninth Prime Minister on Saturday (Aug 21) to lead the United Malays National Organisation (Umno) back into the driving seat of the country after his party helped engineer the fall of a government forged from a crisis just 17 months ago.

Ismail Sabri Yaakob sworn in as Malaysia’s 9th PM

Malaysia's new Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob takes the oath of office during his inauguration at National Palace in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on August 21, 2021.

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 21 — Mr Ismail Sabri Yaakob has been sworn in as Malaysia’s ninth Prime Minister on Saturday (Aug 21) to lead the United Malays National Organisation (Umno) back into the driving seat of the country after his party helped engineer the fall of a government forged from a crisis just 17 months ago.

The former Deputy Prime Minister was appointed by the King Al-Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah on the back of support from 114 MPs including from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, the splinter party whose rule was put to an abrupt end after some Umno MPs retracted their support for former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Mr Ismail Sabri, just 61, was sworn in at a brief palace ceremony lasting about 15 minutes in front of the king, where he pledged to fulfil his duties as Prime Minister.

He is the third Prime Minister to be appointed since the 2018 General Election.

He is also the first leader to be born after the country’s independence in 1957. 

Mr Ismail Sabri starts his job at a time when Malaysia’s infections and deaths relative to population rank as Southeast Asia’s highest.

An online petition started this week drew 350,000 signatories opposing Mr Ismail Sabri’s appointment, citing his handling of the pandemic.

Dressed in a black baju Melayu and gold-embroidered black samping, he was accompanied by his wife Muhaini Zainal Abidin and his children.

After taking his oath, he signed the instruments of appointment, which was witnessed by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat and Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Zuki Ali.

Also present in the swearing-in ceremony were former Prime Minister Najib Razak, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Malaysian Chinese Association president Wee Ka Siong, Parti Islam Se-Malaysia president Abdul Hadi Awang, Malaysian Indian Congress deputy president M. Saravanan, and Parliament speaker Azhar Azizan Harun, among others.

Analysts said his first task would be to pick a Cabinet lineup that could command public support capable of dealing with the exacerbating public health crisis, although some said they are sceptical.

The Umno vice-president himself had faced strong criticism as a senior minister put in charge of security for the fallen Perikatan Nasional government.

His decision to waive the mandatory quarantine order for those returning from the Sabah state election in October last year was seen as one of many missteps that had worsened the outbreak.

On Saturday, the daily positive Covid-19 cases dipped to just over 22,000 after a record high at over 23,000 just as the Palace announced Mr Ismail Sabri’s appointment.

There is speculation that Mr Ismail Sabri could still consider forming a unity government consisting of members of the Opposition although none of the opposing side have come out to confirm the rumour.

Both allies and opponents have called on the new Prime Minister to fill his Cabinet with new faces, citing the failure of the previous lineup to deal with the Covid-19 crisis effectively.

Several rival politicians have congratulated Mr Ismail Sabri on his selection to be the next Prime Minister albeit with criticism from their own supporters.

Last night, Opposition Leader and head of Pakatan Harapan Anwar Ibrahim said the main opposition bloc would accept the King’s decision but urged the new government to double efforts to rein in the coronavirus outbreak and put the economy back on track. AGENCIES

Related topics

Ismail Sabri prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin Malaysia

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa