Ministers and their deputies have today received invitations to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new prime minister in Istana Negara on Friday.
Contacted by Malaysiakini, a deputy minister, who declined to be named, confirmed receiving the invitation via the Short Messaging System (SMS) this morning.
The SMS reads: ‘Istiadat pengurniaan surat cara perlantikan dan istiadat mengangkat sumpah jawatan dan setia serta sumpah simpan rahsia oleh YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib sebagai PM.’
Apart from listing out the dress code for the function, the SMS also stated that the time for the swearing-in ceremony was at 9am.
It is learnt that invitations were also sent to menteris besar and chief ministers, including from the Pakatan Rakyat-ruled states.
On Thursday, outgoing premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is expected to meet the King regarding the transition of power issue.
However until yesterday, Abdullah had refused to state the date for handing over the reins and told the media not to pester him on the issue.
“Just wait. Don’t ask me to say anything. All will happen when the time is right. The transition will take place,” he said, sparking off another round of speculation that the plan could derail at the eleventh hour.
Incoming premier Najib Abdul Razak too has remained tightlipped on the matter.
Wait for the official statement
This afternoon, Najib was quizzed on he purported swearing-in ceremony when he visited the Sin Chew Daily office in Petaling Jaya.
Neither confirming nor denying the matter, he said any question on the actual date of the transfer of power will only be known after the official statement is issued by the Prime Minister’s Department.
“This has to wait for the official statement, I can’t make the official statement,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama.
Asked on the new cabinet line-up, he said the matter would only be decided after the swearing-in of the prime minister.
On whether he would be appointing the Umno candidates who had lost in the party election last week into his cabinet, Najib said: “I have yet to think about it.”
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Shahrir Abdul Samad, who was among those who lost in the election, had expressed his intention to step down.
He would be tendering his resignation letter at tomorrow’s cabinet meeting, which could be the last to be chaired by Abdullah.
Several other cabinet members including Tourism Minister Azalina Othman Said and Foreign Minister Dr Rais Yatim left it to the top leadership to decide their fate.
Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar was also defeated in his bid for the vice-presidency.
Najib is expected to name his new cabinet either on April 8 or 9.
Source : Malaysiakini