Najib to be sworn in on 3 April?

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will be sworn in as prime minister at 10am on Friday, Chief Secretary to the government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan announced today.

Mohd Sidek said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin has given his consent to the swearing-in ceremony.

However, later, the office of the Chief Secretary to the government said that it had issued the statement prematurely, and Bernama issued a note to editors asking for the story on the swearing in to be ignored.

In the original statement, Mohd Sidek said Tuanku Mizan had also consented to grant an audience to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib at 10am tomorrow. Abdullah will relinquish the post and seek consent to have Najib appointed as the new prime minister.

Tuanku Mizan gave his consent at an audience with Abdullah before the cabinet meeting this morning, Mohd Sidek said.

"The Yang di-Pertuan Agong had given his consent for Datuk Seri Najib Razak to be presented his letter of appointment as prime minister and to take his oath of office, loyalty and confidentiality at Istana Negara at 10am on Friday," the statement said.

Najib, who will become the sixth prime minister of Malaysia, will follow in the illustrious footsteps of his father, Tun Abdul Razak, who was the second premier.

His soon-to-be-appointment follows Najib assuming the post of Umno president at the party's general assembly on 28 March, after Abdullah declined to seek nomination to retain the post. By convention, the Umno president assumes the premiership of the country as the leader of the largest party in the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition. — Bernama