As the members of parliament gather at Istana Negara today, with a total of 114 members of parliament expected to have their audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in five separate batches, updates from all parties and recognisable names have made an appearance in the headlines today.
Here’s a complete rundown:
Ismail Sabri receives unanimous backing from UMNO.
On August 17, the UMNO supreme council has unanimously decided to nominate Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the party’s sole candidate for prime minister.
With the backing of all 42 UMNO and BN MPs, Ismail Sabri is on course to become the next prime minister with 115 MPs on his side barring any last minute changes.
According to one Umno source, the decision to back Ismail Sabri was made to avoid a further split in the party.
It is understood that a handful of UMNO MPs initially backed several other candidates, before ultimately deciding to cast their lot with Ismail Sabri.
Supreme council member Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said Ismail Sabri was an obvious choice due to his seniority.
“He (Ismail Sabri) was the deputy prime minister. In that sequence, it looks quite agreeable it’s him. BN has its own set of partners to cross the finishing line of the number of 111.”
If Ismail is named prime minister, UMNO will have essentially overturned the 2018 election result without ever going back to the polls.
PH did not receive invitation to Istana Negara to meet with King.
PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil has confirmed that Pakatan Harapan (PH) members of parliament have not been summoned for an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara today.
“No invitation. You have to ask Istana (Negara) on this,” he said.
The party’s lack of invitation causes a drawback of not being able to prove their statutory declarations (SD) in support of a new prime minister candidate today.
Anwar Ibrahim faces sexual assault claims, again.
A suit filed against PKR president Anwar Ibrahim on claims of sexual assault has been delivered to the legal firm representing him by hand.
The suit was submitted by Anwar’s former research assistant Muhammed Yusoff Rawther as the plaintiff on July 14. He claims the sexual assault happened at the defendant Anwar’s residence three years ago.
The plaintiff, Yusoff, alleged Anwar sexually assaulted and molested him while he rejected the defendant’s moves and asked him to stop committing the act.
He claimed the defendant then appeared upset and disappointed and before leaving the defendant told the plaintiff, “I want to do this again” in which the plaintiff replied that he would never be alone in a room with the defendant.
The plaintiff said a police report was made against Anwar on Dec 7, 2019 and the plaintiff took a polygraph test at the police headquarters in Bukit Aman on Dec 17 the same year and claimed the defendant declined to take the test.
According to Yusoff, the Attorney-General’s Chambers issued a media statement that there was insufficient evidence to charge Anwar.
The plaintiff alleged as a result of the incident, he was accused of plotting to destroy the political career of the defendant.
The incident was said to also impact the mental health of the plaintiff as he received criticism from political leaders who supported Anwar, as well as from members of the public.
Najib Razak’s 1MDB trial put on hold for political meeting.
Yesterday, 18 August, the trial at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur was adjourned to 2.30pm as the former prime minister needed to attend Barisan Nasional (BN) meeting at 11am in connection with the choice of candidate for the prime minister’s post.
“My client is the BN adviser, he needs to be there with UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi together with the rest of the party leaders, to make a decision,” said his lawyer.
However, the trial was scheduled to resume at 9:30am today and Najib failed to turn up.
Trial judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah was not pleased when former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak failed to turn up at the High Court for the scheduled hearing this morning.
Read more about the judge’s visible display of anger here.
Najib, 68, is facing four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.
Tun Dr Mahathir does not want to become PM, instead looking to lead Mageran.
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says he only wants to spearhead a National Operations Council (NOC), or a National Recovery Council.
“I don’t want to be prime minister. I want to lead the Mageran or the National Recovery Council. But whatever the council decides, the government must accept.”
He said he had proposed the idea of Mageran or the recovery council to the government before the number of cases were high.
“There were only about 2,000 cases at that time, so it was easier to handle. We had a lot of ideas, but the (government) didn’t want to allow me, they wanted to do it themselves. From then, the number of cases rose to 6,000, then 9,000, 14,000, now 22,000. This is the government’s doing.”
He stressed that he was not interested in ministerial positions, but only wanted power to handle Covid-19.
“They only want to be prime minister and for what? For power, to get money, for a huge paycheck, or to steal money. That’s why they want to be prime minister,” he said commenting on the political situation in Malaysia.
Hold on to your seats, cause they’re gonna start counting soon…