Opposition does U-turn: wants unity government after all

(FMT) – Incoming Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob must heed the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s call to form a government consisting of members from different political parties, say several opposition members of Parliament.

Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah said all MPs must work together to take the country out of the worsening Covid-19 crisis.

“A unity government is one way to the road of recovery. Put aside politics and save lives and the country.”

She also hoped his administration would be able to inject more funds for the people’s welfare.

Putting food on the table must be the top priority, she said, adding that the government must also identify those from the B40 who have dropped to absolute poverty, and those from the M40 who have fallen to the B40.

She added that there was also an urgent need to strengthen health services to reduce the surge in Covid-19 deaths.

“We need more ambulances, personnel, medical equipment and facilities, etc. Besides funds, another way is to decentralise the services to bring in more private hospitals and clinics to assist,” she said.

Meanwhile, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad said there may be hope for Ismail if he heeds the call from the King to form a unity government. On the same breath, however, he felt Ismail’s majority may be too thin for him to implement such a move.

Elaborating on the slim majority, he said Ismail may end up being manipulated by Muhyiddin Yassin or Azmin Ali, just as Muhyiddin was manipulated by Umno.

“We feel that he is not the best choice,” Khalid said, adding that the support thrown behind Ismail was a result of political games by Perikatan Nasional and Barisan Nasional.

“We will wait and see what Ismail will do and whether or not he has the wisdom and ability to decide on a different approach from Muhyiddin’s.”

Klang MP Charles Santiago meanwhile said public confidence in the government has reached an all-time low given Ismail’s track record as senior minister in charge of the Covid-19 movement restrictions over the last year and a half.

“It is also sad that the quality of the Malaysian prime minister has gone from bad to worse. The country needs to take stock of this.”

Nevertheless, he wished Ismail the best and hopes he would be able to create more jobs and deal with the pandemic more efficiently.

Ismail has been named the country’s ninth prime minister, succeeding Muhyiddin who resigned from the post on Monday.

The Umno vice-president is expected to be sworn in as prime minister tomorrow at 2.30pm.