Ismail Sabri’s political journey to Malaysian premiership

Replacing Muhyiddin Yassin, Sabri became new prime minister of Malaysia after getting approval of king

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AA) – Ismail Sabri Yaakob became the new prime minister of Malaysia after obtaining the approval of King Al-Sultan Abdullah on Friday.

Ismail Sabri, who was deputy premier in former premier Muhyiddin Yassin’s coalition, has received the backing of 114 out of 220 lawmakers to become third prime minister in three years.

Former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin resigned on Monday after losing majority support in the parliament.

Sabri’s appointment marks the return of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), which lost the 2018 general elections over corruption allegations, particularly over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.

Born in Pahang on Jan. 18, 1960, Sabri is not a new face in the country’s politics.

He was the vice president of the UMNO, the nation’s biggest political party, and the 13th deputy prime minister. He had also worked as a minister for security affairs in the Muhyiddin’s cabinet.

Prior to his current position, he was a member of the Malaysian Parliament for the Bera constituency in Pahang, representing the UMNO party.

Ismail Sabri graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Malaya. After completing his education, Sabri started his career as a lawyer in 1985.

His work in politics led him to become the head of information at the UMNO Temerloh Branch.

His political career at the UMNO skyrocketed when he was given several ministerial positions, including minister for youth and sports in Abdullah Badawi’s Cabinet (2008), and minister for domestic trade, cooperatives, and consumerism in the era of Prime Minister Najib Razak (2009).

Sabri also became minister for agriculture and agro-based industry in 2013-2015 and minister for regional and rural development in 2015-2018.

His political career got a boost when Muhyiddin appointed him as deputy prime minister in July when the country was struggling hard to fight the coronavirus pandemic.


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