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Umno supreme council chooses Ismail Sabri as Malaysia PM candidate

KUALA LUMPUR — Barisan Nasional members of parliament have unanimously chosen Umno vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob as their candidate for the nation's ninth prime minister.

Malaysia's Minister of International Trade and Industry Mohamed Azmin Ali (front right) and Minister of Defence Ismail Sabri Yaakob (front centre) attending a parliament session in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 2, 2020.

Malaysia's Minister of International Trade and Industry Mohamed Azmin Ali (front right) and Minister of Defence Ismail Sabri Yaakob (front centre) attending a parliament session in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 2, 2020.

KUALA LUMPUR — Barisan Nasional members of parliament have unanimously chosen Umno vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob as their candidate for the nation's ninth prime minister.

This was decided following an Umno supreme council meeting and a meeting held among BN MPs at Menara Dato Onn here on Tuesday (Aug 17) night.

Umno supreme council member Tajuddin Abdul Rahman confirmed that Ismail Sabri was the party's choice, and he hoped other parties would also throw their support behind the former deputy prime minister.

He was speaking to the media while making his way out from the meeting.

Mr Tajuddin also said he was happy that Umno was united in its choice for a PM candidate.

"We have also crossed (the threshold) in terms of the numbers (needed) with the support from others, such as Pas, Bersatu and so on. The more support we get from others, the better it is," he said when asked how Umno would get the numbers.

Meanwhile, supreme council member Azalina Othman Said said Mr Ismail Sabri was an obvious choice due to his seniority.

"Because he's technically the highest (in rank in Parliament) next to the president (Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi) and BN backbenchers chairman (Mr Najib Razak).

"He (Mr Ismail Sabri) was the deputy prime minister. In that sequence, it looks quite agreeable it's him."

Mr Azalina said as a coalition, BN has the numbers to back up its choice for a prime minister.

"BN has its own set of partners to cross the finishing line of the number of 111."

Asked if other parties would support Mr Ismail Sabri as prime minister, she said: "It looks quite good. At the end of the day, if you look at the statements and what has been said by many people, whoever runs the country must focus on Covid-19 for six months. And it has to be a team effort. Team Malaysia."

Sembrong MP Hishammuddin Hussein said he was confident that the King would make the best decision when presented with the candidates for prime minister.

"We discussed about Tuanku's decree (at the meeting) and we hope that the king's decision would stabilise the country's politics because we need to focus on more important things such as Covid-19, economic recovery and the people's wellbeing.

"In our current situation this is important. Enough of politicking," he said. NEW STRAITS TIMES

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