Ismail Sabri Yaakob sworn in as Malaysia’s new prime minister

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob will lead the Perikatan Nasional coalition with a slim majority in Parliament. PHOTO: BERNAMA. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 21, 2021, ST. Umno vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob was sworn in as Malaysia’s ninth prime minister on Saturday (Aug 21), marking his party’s return to power just three years after it lost federal power for the first time since the country’s independence, The Straits Times reported.

Datuk Seri Ismail is the country’s third premier since the historic 2018 elections, when the Umno-led Barisan Nasional coalition was voted out of power for the first time in 61 years.

However, prolonged political uncertainty that followed the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government early last year finally resulted in Umno returning to assume the PM post.

Malaysia’s King Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah presided over Mr Ismail’s oath-taking at 2.30pm on Saturday, five days after the latter’s predecessor Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin resigned as prime minister following a loss of parliamentary majority.

Mr Ismail, similar to Mr Muhyiddin, will lead the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition with a slim majority until Malaysia recovers from its current Covid-19 crisis and a general election can be called. He has the support of 114 out of 220 sitting MPs in Parliament – a nine-seat advantage over the opposition, which controls 105 seats.

Another senior Umno MP, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, abstained from supporting Mr Ismail.

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