First interview session between 90 MPs and Agong ends

25 Feb 2020 / 22:42 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The first personal interview session between 90 members of parliament (MPs) and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Riáyatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at Istana Negara today ended at about 6pm.

Al-Sultan Abdullah has consented to conduct a one-to-one interview with all 222 MPs to find the best solution to the country’s current political situation.

During the first session today, the interviews were held at random without following the order of political parties and was conducted at the discretion of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Each MP was given some three minutes each for the interview with His Majesty which was witnessed by Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Mohd Zuki Ali. The session began at 2.30pm.

The remaining 132 MPs will have the same interview session with His Majesty tomorrow.

The notice about the interview was delivered to all MPs by the palace yesterday, in accordance with Article 43 (2) of the Federal Constitution.

According to some MPs met by reporters at the Istana Negara main gate today, Yang di-Pertuan Agong had sought their opinions on whether to name a new prime minister or dissolve the Parliament.

“We have made known our choice, however, it is up to His Majesty to make the final decision,” said Kuala Kurau MP Datuk Seri Ismail Mohamed Said.

Petra Jaya MP Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said there was no detailed discussion held during the three-minute meeting, and he was only asked to sign a provided form.

“I just followed the procedure. Each of us was allocated between two and three minutes for the interview. No (discussion), just a form for us to sign,” he said.

Santubong MP Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said he was grateful that His Majesty understands the current situation.

Air Hitam MP Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong told members of the media that he would respect any decision made by His Majesty.

Media personnel have been camping in front of the Istana Negara entrances since after Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad announced his resignation as prime minister yesterday. He was later appointed as interim prime minister.

The Istana Negara Gate 2 became the focal point for some 50 media personnel to gather the latest development on the country’s political situation from MPs who were seen leaving the palace.

Soon after that, a vehicle carrying Chief of Defence Force Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang was seen leaving the Istana Negara via the main gate followed by the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador’s official vehicle.

Mohd Zuki was seen leaving the palace at 6.26pm before the gates were closed, indicating the first interview session was over, four hours after it began.

Earlier in the day, Comptroller of the Royal Household for Istana Negara Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said the brief interview between two to three minutes each is to get feedback from MPs on the country’s current political situation. - Bernama

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