Malaysia's Anwar urges supporters to accept Ismail Sabri Yaakob's appointment as PM

Mr Anwar Ibrahim (left) urged supporters to accept Mr Ismail Sabri Yaakob as Malaysia's next leader. PHOTOS: BH FILE, BERNAMA
Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah (centre) with the other state rulers after their meeting at the palace on Aug 20, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR - Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has urged Pakatan Harapan leaders, members and supporters to accept the King's decision to appoint Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as Malaysia's ninth prime minister.

In a statement issued on Friday (Aug 20), Datuk Seri Anwar said the decision was in line with the Constitution, the concepts of parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy.

"For the opposition, this is the challenge for us to work harder to face the upcoming 15th general election. Let us pray and put an effort to ensure the Covid-19 pandemic and the country's economy can be tackled for the sake of the people," he said.

"To all leaders, members and supporters, we urged everyone to accept the decision with a clear determination for us to work harder to face the general election, so that we can once again win the people's mandate that we received in the last election."

Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah consented to appoint Mr Ismail as premier on Friday, after a meeting lasting less than two hours with other state rulers.

Mr Ismail, who is Umno's vice-president, will be sworn in at 2.30pm on Saturday.

He is expected to convene Parliament soon, as the King had earlier said when Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin resigned on Monday that his successor must underline his legitimacy with a confidence motion.

Mr Ismail, the deputy premier in the Muhyiddin administration, will also have to appoint a Cabinet that can ensure a swift exit from the coronavirus crisis and a healthy economic recovery after last year's recession.

Umno has rallied behind Mr Ismail's appointment, with the Malay party leaders pledging to rally behind him and work together towards economic recovery.

Mr Ismail Sabri Yaakob has to appoint a Cabinet that can ensure a healthy economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis. PHOTO: REUTERS

"We will work with the newly appointed Prime Minister to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic so that he can effectively work on repairing the economy," said Umno vice-president Mohd Khaled Nordin.

Barisan Nasional leaders have also congratulated Mr Ismail on his appointment, with Malaysian Indian Congress deputy president M. Saravanan expressing confidence that Mr Ismail will continue to steer the country out from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"May his leadership open a new chapter in the political arena," he said.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.