KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 21): Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob took his oath of office as the ninth prime minister of Malaysia before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara this afternoon.

The ceremony, which involved the conferment of the instrument of appointment and taking the oath of office and allegiance, as well as the oath of secrecy as the prime minister, was held at about 2.20pm, Bernama reported.

Ismail Sabri was sworn in as the prime minister at 2.28pm in the nationally televised ceremony that was also attended by the Raja Permaisuri Agong.

Clad in a black baju Melayu, complete with samping, Ismail Sabri was accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Muhaini Zainal Abidin.

The appointment of the 61-year-old Umno vice-president as the new prime minister was announced through a statement issued by the palace yesterday.

The appointment was consented by the King in accordance with Article 40 (2) (a) and Article 43 (2) (a) of the Federal Constitution.

Ismail Sabri, who was previously the deputy prime minister, has been the Barisan Nasional (BN) Member of Parliament for Bera since 2004.

He takes over as the prime minister from Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who announced his resignation on Aug 16, following the loss of majority support in the Dewan Rakyat.

After taking his oath of office, Ismail Sabri signed the document, witnessed by Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali and Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, Bernama reported.

Also present were Dewan Negara President Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun, Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Muhyiddin, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

Others included MIC deputy president Datuk Seri M Saravanan, Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) deputy president Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup, as well as Pekan MP and former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

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