Opposition licks wounds after Ismail Sabri’s ascent to PM

MPs send sombre congratulatory messages to Bera lawmaker, but urge supporters to turn out en masse for GE15

KUALA LUMPUR : While Barisan Nasional (BN) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) parties celebrate Bera MP Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s appointment as prime minister, there is a sadder tone on the opposition front.

After Pakatan Harapan (PH) and other opposition parties put forth PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as their choice for the next prime minister, Ismail Sabri grabbed the position after 114 MPs confirmed their support for him to the king.

Although Anwar, who is Port Dickson MP, had hinted at the Agong’s wish for a unity government, such an arrangement now seems unlikely.

Right after the announcement by Istana Negara on Ismail Sabri’s appointment today, members of the opposition took to social media, generally feeling let down and upset.

Despite being conservative with their words on this latest development, they viewed it as a setback and urged Malaysians to come out to vote in the next general election.

Opposition licks wounds after Ismail Sabri’s ascent to PM
Bera MP Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob will be sworn in as prime minister tomorrow, after the king accepted his bid to lead the new government on Friday. – The Vibes file pic

DAP’s Klang MP Charles Santiago likened Ismail Sabri’s appointment to “new wine in an old bottle”.

We know what calibre this person is. Malaysians should expect tougher times and brace for more difficult situations facing both the economy and pandemic.

“But I wish him luck and hope things will change for the better. Also, I hope he learns from the mistakes of the previous prime minister,” Charles said when contacted.

Klang MP Charles Santiago says the new prime minister does not represent much change from the previous failed government. – The Vibes file pic, August 20, 2021
Klang MP Charles Santiago says the new prime minister does not represent much change from the previous failed government. – The Vibes file pic

Meanwhile, PKR’s Kangar MP Amin Ahmad expressed disappointment but was not entirely affected by Ismail Sabri’s appointment. He noted that the collapse of the government in the first place was caused due to internal strife in the PN coalition and its ally Umno.

Although we have a new prime minister, it is still an unstable government.

“Of course, we hope the country will be led to betterment,” Amin said when contacted.

He also stressed that former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s call for bipartisan support, although good, was made too late.

“We will wait and see if the new government only wants the status quo to remain,” Amin added.

Voters told not to give up

On Twitter, DAP’s Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii also expressed disenchantment at the outcome, but urged supporters not to give up and for them to register as voters.

“Many feel disappointed and sad at the outcome. But, something worth fighting for is often tough, long and frustrating at times.

“So, let us not give up. I know enough good people in our country, especially the young who are still fighting so hard for a fair, just and righteous Malaysia,” Yii tweeted.

Former deputy agriculture minister and Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin, who is with PKR, also called for supporters to continue fighting.

“Congrats PM9. God bless #Malaysia… Let’s pick up the pieces and fight again,” Sim tweeted.

Amanah vice-president and Parit Buntar MP Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa, meanwhile, extended congratulations towards Ismail Sabri and hoped the Covid-19 pandemic would be tackled by the government.

“Congratulations to PM9, and to those candidates who tried.

“We hold dear the powers of a constitutional monarchy. We bear our own losses, and the fight against Covid-19 continues,” Mujahid tweeted.

Muda co-founder and Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, promised to continue serving as an opposition MP.

“Congratulations to Ismail Sabri over his appointment as Malaysia’s prime minister… I will continue my work and service as an opposition MP.

“As a lawmaker, my duties include presenting policy ideas and acting as a check and balance towards the government,” Syed Saddiq posted on Facebook.


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