KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Malaysia’s King has asked the 114 Members of Parliament who signed statutory declarations to support Umno vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the prime minister candidate to be present at the palace on Thursday (Aug 19) to verify their stand.

The lawmakers will meet the King in groups, from 10am until 5pm.

Royal sources said the MPs are from Perikatan Nasional, Barisan Nasional, Gabungan Parti Sarawak, Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (Star) from Sabah and independents who had backed Datuk Seri Ismail, who is also the outgoing deputy premier, to be prime minister.

All the MPs submitted their statutory declarations by the 4pm Wednesday deadline set by the palace.

The 114 votes obtained by Mr Ismail means that rival contender Anwar Ibrahim, who leads the Pakatan Harapan opposition coalition and is Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president, has failed to obtain enough support to be prime minister.

The King on Wednesday decreed that the country’s next prime minister would still need to pass a confidence vote in Parliament, as the country’s 220 lawmakers submitted their choice of candidate to replace Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who stepped down on Monday.

The palace also announced that the King, on Friday, will meet Malaysia’s nine state rulers for a “special discussion”, which is expected to consider the candidate with the most support and help resolve the month-long political crisis that has left the nation without a prime minister for the second time in 18 months.