Yesterday (17 August), the Barisan Nasional (BN) and the UMNO supreme council had announced that they will unanimously support Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as their candidate for the Prime Minister.
The matter was confirmed by 2 Members of Parliament (MP) from UMNO, including Pasir Salak Member of Parliament, Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman and Pengerang Member of Parliament, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said in an interview at the coalition’s headquarters at Kuala Lumpur World Trade Centre.
According to Malaysiakini, Ismail Sabri Yaakob will have the support of all 38 UMNO MPs, and assuming that he has the support from Bersatu and other parties in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition, Ismail will have 115 MPs and this is more than the 111 needed for a simple majority.
Although UMNO had not released a statement to announce their candidate, some members were speaking to the media that the conclusion of the supreme council meeting was to nominate Ismail Sabri as their PM candidate.
Meanwhile, it is also seen that UMNO displays a unity to indicate Ismail, the former deputy prime minister, had patched things up with Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, UMNO party president.
Previously, Ahmad Zahid said that there could be ‘consequences‘ for Ismail Sabri’s support for the outgoing PM Muhyiddin Yassin. However, it appears that the supreme council had pulled back on that matter.
Nonetheless, with the unanimous support from a united UMNO, Ismail Sabri is set to be the man with the simple majority from the parliament.
As the deadline to nominate the candidates for the Prime Minister is set on today (18 August) at 4 p.m., we may soon know the results of the vote.
If Ismail Sabri is named as Malaysia’s 9th Prime Minister, this could possibly mean a comeback of the Barisan Nasional (BN) era as this is the first time a candidate from UMNO retakes the throne after Najib Razak’s defeat in the 2018 general election.
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