Muhyiddin: Cabinet members must be trustworthy, free from criminal charges

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Perikatan Nasional has unanimously agreed to nominate former deputy prime minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, as the coalition’s new Prime Minister.

PN chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said all 50 of its members of Parliament, including 31 from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), 18 from Pas, and one from Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (Star) had submitted their statutory declarations supporting Ismail Sabri to the Istana Negara on Aug 18.

“This decision was made to ensure the continuity of PN government policies, focusing on fighting Covid-19 and restoring the country until the time is right to hold general elections to return the mandate to the people,” he said in a statement today.

The former Prime Minister, who resigned on Monday, said this decision also meant that PN prioritised political stability and the welfare of the people, over politics and power struggle.

“When faced with a crisis, politicians must be magnanimous for the benefit of the people and the nation.”

Muhyiddin said PN’s support to Ismail Sabri, however, came with conditions.

“If appointed as Prime Minister by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Ismail Sabri must ensure that cabinet members who he selects are those with integrity, trustworthy and free from any criminal charges in court.

Seth Akmal/TMI

“The PN government under his leadership must also continue to respect the principle of separation of powers, protect judicial independence and uphold the concept of constitutional monarchy,” he added.

Curiously, Muhyiddin referred to Ismail Sabri’s impending administration as a PN government instead of a BN one.

He said he hoped the process of appointing a new Prime Minister would go on smoothly and is finalised in the near future, in accordance with requirements of the Federal Constitution.

He also said as PN chairman, he would continue serving the people and preparing the party to face the 15th General Election.