Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia supreme council members are currently in a meeting Saturday (Aug 21) night to decide the way forward after the swearing-in of Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as Malaysia’s ninth Prime Minister.
The meeting, chaired by former prime minister and Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin began at about 8.30pm and is being held at a hotel in the city.
Among the other supreme council members present are party deputy president Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu, secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin, women’s wing chief Datuk Seri Rina Harun and supreme council members Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and Datuk Zuraidah Kamaruddin.
It is believed that the discussion will mainly be centred on who was the best choice to take up the deputy prime minister’s post.
Bersatu, the biggest bloc in Perikatan Nasional with 31 MPs, was said to have been given complete say over who becomes the next deputy prime minister, after they threw their full support behind Ismail Sabri, with the party even giving up the prime minister’s post to Ismail Sabri’s party, Umno.
“The main contenders are Hamzah and Azmin as both have brought in many MPs with them when they entered the party,” said a source.
“Both were also the main players of the ‘Sheraton Move’, during which Muhyiddin became the prime minister.
“However, the Bersatu supreme council will make the final decision,” the source added.
Azmin Ali are said to be in the running for the Deputy Prime Minister post.
It was not known if a decision would be made tonight or if this was one of the first discussions on the matter, the source added.
Prior to this, there have been reports of two other contenders for the post from Bersatu – Ahmad Faizal and Datuk Seri Redzuan Yusof, said to be one of the main founders of the party.
Newly minted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob will be leading a Perikatan Nasional administration, said Datuk Seri Azmin Ali today.
Speaking to the press after a Bersatu meeting at Premiera Hotel, Azmin was about to leave when he was asked if he had a message for the new government.
Turning back, he queried the reporters: “New government?
“I believe Ismail Sabri will continue to lead the PN government. Our focus is just to mitigate the situation now with the Covid-19 pandemic and accelerate economic recovery.
“That should be the focus,” said Azmin to the media outside Premiera Hotel.
With regards to today’s Bersatu meet, he said it was merely a normal party supreme council meeting.
Meanwhile, Larut MP Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin remained tight-lipped about the purpose of Bersatu’s late night meeting, saying it was merely discussing current issues.
“The meeting today was just to discuss recent events, particularly the political struggle.
“That was all we did for the future to ensure we are united, given the prime minister received support from Bersatu and PN component parties,” Hamzah said.
Similarly, Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin did not reply to any requests for comments.
Earlier, Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had commented along Azmin’s lines when he spoke of his successor’s courtesy visit, saying that Ismail Sabri will be leading the PN administration.
However, he was almost immediately lambasted by Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan who clarified that the PN regime ended today with Ismail Sabri’s swearing-in ceremony.
The supreme council had gathered tonight to discuss Ismail Sabri’s appointment.
It is believed that this meeting was to determine the party’s deputy prime minister candidate, after The Vibes previously reported a tussle between at least four party leaders.
Similarly, tonight’s gathering could have also determined their party’s choices for the new cabinet.
Others seen in attendance were Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun, Muhyiddin, Datuk Radzi Jidin, and Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
The party’s deputy president Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu, one of the purported candidates for Malaysia’s second highest political post, was also present.