Malaysia's Ismail Sabri Yaakob clocks in for first day of work as prime minister

Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob is scheduled to visit flood-hit areas in Kedah on Aug 23. PHOTO: ISMAIL SABRI YAAKOB/FACEBOOK

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has clocked in at Perdana Putra in Putrajaya on Monday (Aug 23) for his first day of work as prime minister.

He arrived at the main block of Perdana Putra - which houses the Prime Minister's Office - at about 8.25am.

National news agency Bernama reported that Mr Ismail was greeted by chief secretary to the government Mohd Zuki Ali and senior deputy secretary-general of the Prime Minister's Department Jamil Rakon.

Also present were Public Service director-general Mohd Khairul Adib Abd Rahman, Attorney-General Idrus Harun, Inspector-General of Police Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani and Malaysian Armed Forces chief Affendi Buang.

Mr Ismail, who was in a black suit, then clocked in at his office on Level 5 of the Perdana Putra building. This was followed by the reading of prayers led by Prime Minister's Department integrity officer Muhd Redza Ahmad, before Mr Ismail signed the welcome book.

Later in the afternoon, he made his first official visit as prime minister to the Kuala Muda and Yan districts in Kedah, which have both been declared Level One disaster areas due to flash floods.

Local officials briefed him and Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor on the current situation and the extent of damage to the affected areas.

Mr Ismail, who is Umno vice-president, was sworn in as prime minister by Malaysia's King on Saturday, five days after his predecessor Muhyiddin Yassin resigned as prime minister following a loss of parliamentary majority.

Mr Ismail's appointment also marked his party's return to power just three years after it lost federal power for the first time since the country's independence.

In his maiden speech on Sunday, Mr Ismail emphasised cooperation across the political divide and invited opposition leaders to join in the effort to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

He also called for togetherness among all politicians, and urged a halt to any attempts to grab political power as the country grapples with a Covid-19 crisis that has stretched its health resources and battered its economy.

Although they are open to Mr Ismail's offer, opposition lawmakers said they wanted something substantial that genuinely fulfils the spirit of bipartisanship.

The prime minister also said he will announce the members of his Cabinet later this week.

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