A day at the palace as Agong hears out politicians on forming next govt

KUALA LUMPUR: MPs and political leaders representing various blocs have been busy in and out of the Istana Negara since morning, as the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah gathers their votes on charting a new coalition following the collapse of Pakatan Harapan yesterday.

Here are blow by blow accounts of events as they unfolded today.

6:12pm: Kuala Krau MP Ismail Mohamed Said said MPs were given two choices: name a candidate for prime minister or dissolve Parliament.

6:10pm: Former PM Najib Razak mum on who he proposed for prime minister of a new coalition government, following an audience with the Agong.

5.00pm: Petra Jaya MP Fadillah Yusof said each MP was given between two and three minutes with the King, adding that there was something for them to sign.

A smiling Abdul Hadi Awang waving to members of the media as he leaves the palace.

3.57pm: PAS president and Marang MP Abdul Hadi Awang was among the earliest to leave the palace. He did not comment on the meeting with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

3:35 pm: Sarawak’s ruling coalition Gabungan Parti Sarawak has informed the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong that all its MPs fully support the leadership of Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

In a statement, the coalition said its chairman, Sarawak chief minister Abang Johari Openg, has been given the mandate to back Mahathir “in the interest of the nation”.

3.35 pm: A convoy of vehicles, including two buses, ferrying BN MPs arrived at Istana Negara. Among those spotted on one of the buses were former prime minister Najib Razak, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, former minister Ahmad Maslan and MCA’s Wee Jeck Seng. Others present included Umno secretary-general Annuar Musa and former Federal Territories minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.

Petra Jaya MP Fadillah Yusof (left), Batang Sadong MP Nancy Shukri, and Santubong MP Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar are among those who have arrived at Istana Negara.

3.20pm: Batang Sadong MP Nancy Shukri, Petra Jaya MP Fadillah Yusof and Santubong MP Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar arrive for the audience with the King.

3.17pm: Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah returned to the palace after having been there earlier in the morning.

Sembrong MP Hishammuddin Hussein arrives at the palace.

3.08pm: Former Umno vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein, who is Sembrong MP, arrived at the palace in his own vehicle. “Biar saya menghadap Tuanku (let me go for my audience with the King),” he told reporters.

PAS MPs arriving for audience with the Agong.

2.46 pm: A bus carrying PAS MPs arrived at the palace.

Keningau MP Jeffrey Kitingan (left) arrives for audience with King.

2.21 pm: Simpang Renggam MP Maszlee Malik and Keningau MP Jeffrey Kitingan arrive at Istana Negara.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah distributing meal packages to members of the media on duty outside Istana Negara.

1.23 pm: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong says: “We are very concerned. Be patient. Let me do my duty. I hope to find the best solution for the country.”

Comptroller of the royal household Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin speaking to the media.

12.50 pm: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong will meet with all 222 members of the Dewan Rakyat over the next two days before the next prime minister is decided, Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin, the comptroller of the royal household, told the media. This would be the first time such an exercise is being undertaken at the federal level. The first batch of 90 MPs will meet the King at 2.30pm today while the rest tomorrow.

12.40 pm: Former prime minister Najib Razak is expected to arrive for an audience, according to his aide.

11:56 am: Former education minister and PPBM Supreme Council member Maszlee Malik greets reporters before entering Istana Negara.

11.40 am: Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah enters the gates of the palace.