There are signs that the calm and unassuming Ismail Sabri is growing to be his own man
BY SELVARAJA SOMIAH
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob should just let Parliament complete its full term until July next year. Better to make use of the remaining parliamentary term to introduce further institutional reforms to prevent corruption and leakages. And also spend the remaining months of this parliamentary term to work on the budget and tackle the economic issues especially the declining ringgit.
As I said earlier in my post, the anti-hopping law, and the declassifying of a government investigation report on the troubled RM9 billion littoral combat ship (LCS) fiasco, and of course the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Transformation and Political Stability signed with the opposition Pakatan Harapan, is something no other prime ministers had ever done.
Ismail Sabri has done well so far despite he only having the backing of 42 Umno and BN MPs, of which some are openly hostile towards him, and his majority in Parliament is merely two seats.
Even Umno President Zahid Hamidi is seen trying hard to arm twist political power from Ismail Sabri. This comes as Umno intensifies its pressure on Ismail Sabri to hold the 15th general election (GE15) as soon as possible. He has managed to resist pressure so far. Will Ismail Sabri call for GE15 by this year knowing that Malaysia’s annual monsoon season typically starts around late November and will last until February? I doubt it.
But Ismail Sabri’s initiative of the Keluarga Malaysia government has received wide support from the people.
And then, seeing the Federal Court hold firm and send Najib to jail has given confidence to the public that the judiciary is independent and there is no interference from the Ismail Sabri government. It can be argued that Ismail Sabri’s most notable contribution to nation-building would be his firm stance in not interfering in the judicial process that was going on against his former and present boss in Umno. And hence Prime Minister Ismail Sabri has scored some serious brownie points with the world.
And remember before Ismail Sabri’ s watch, the public perception was that the independence of the judiciary was questionable, always thinking that there is executive involvement.
And its during Ismail Sabri’s government when history was made by the amendment of Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to reinstate back the status of Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah as equal partners in line with Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
Ismail Sabri is a decent man and I’m very sure history will surely be kind to him at the end of his term.