The audience before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah today is to verify the statutory declarations (SD) of Members of Parliament stating support for their Prime Minister candidate nominee.
UMNO secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said it is to enable His Majesty to determine if the SDs were done voluntarily or otherwise.
“As for myself, I voluntarily proposed Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the Prime Minister candidate and I am very confident of his abilities.
“I was informed that only the group with numbers exceeding the winning margin was invited (to Istana Negara) and from what I’ve been informed, those who supported the second candidate were not invited for an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,” he told reporters at Menara Dato Onn lobby today.
Earlier, a group of UMNO Members of Parliament, including former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had boarded a bus to Istana Negara for an audience with the King.
Ahmad, who is Pontian MP, said the audience session was done in stages, with the first batch at 10 am, the second at 11.10 am, the third at 2 pm, the fourth at 3.10 pm and the fifth to be at 4.20 pm today.
He said his invitation for the audience was received via the Dewan Rakyat secretary yesterday.
“I was also given a list by the Dewan Rakyat Speaker this morning, (and) 114 MPs were invited for an audience,” he said.
On Tuesday (Aug 17), all Dewan Rakyat lawmakers were instructed to submit their statutory declarations to nominate their prime minister candidate to Istana Negara by 4 pm yesterday.
The notice issued by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun to 220 MPs is to enable one of them who commands majority support to be appointed as Prime Minister after Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s resignation on Monday.