Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s supposed successor hopes 4th PM can sway backing his way in quest for premiership
KUALA LUMPUR : Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is seeking all the support he can get for his nomination as prime minister.
One of the parties he is seeking support from is none other than two-time prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
It is understood that the two men communicated today, with Ismail Sabri asking Dr Mahathir for his support, hoping that the Pejuang president, whose party has four seats, will sway sentiment in the former’s favour.
While statutory declarations were gathered at the Royale Chulan Hotel here this afternoon from Bersatu and several Umno members to nominate the Bera MP for premiership, it is understood that Umno as a party is not on the same page over his candidacy.
There has been a falling out in the party, with 15 of the party’s 38 MPs pulling support for Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister and his Perikatan Nasional (PN) administration.
The faction led by Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi wants a total pull-out from the government, as was decided by the party in May,
Muhyiddin is expected to offer his resignation to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong tomorrow, and propose Ismail Sabri and Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin of Bersatu as the No.1 and No.2, respectively.
PN has a lot of creases to smooth out with regard to its relationship with the palace. Muhyiddin has been seen to be rude and disobedient to the Agong – defying His Majesty’s decree to table and debate emergency ordinances in Parliament.
Instead, Muhyiddin deferred a motion of confidence and has now shut the Dewan Rakyat, citing Covid-19 risks.
“But having Mahathir pitch for you is an odd choice, since Mahathir’s relationship with the royal institution has been eventful,” said a source.
Dr Mahathir, he said, did not indicate if he would support Ismail Sabri, but the fact that the senior minister is reaching out to the 96-year-old is an indication that the premiership is not a done deal.
“At the very least, Mahathir can sway some opposition and Umno support towards Ismail Sabri’s direction. At least that is what he hopes,” said the source.