PETALING JAYA : Social media reaction was muted over Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s “Keluarga Malaysia” (Malaysian Family) appeal in his maiden speech as prime minister.
Some users gave positive feedback, saying that everyone should be united at this time, while others wondered whether Malaysians would heed the advice.
Ismail had urged all MPs to set aside their differences and work together to save the Malaysian Family. He appealed to political colleagues on both sides to move forward with open minds and open hearts.
Twitter user @SimpletonED said “Keluarga Malaysia” was a big term, and Ismail’s offer of inclusivity was “warmly but cautiously welcomed”.
“Your past precedes you. Walk the talk,” he tweeted.
Another user, Fadzili Lim (@FadziliLim), said many people were resistant because of Ismail’s Umno affiliation. “But we need to be open minded, he may be a better leader.”
User @BernardGT asked how Malaysians should address Ismail. “Should we call him ‘father’ of the Malaysian Family?”
@_zahirismail_ pointed out the “Keluarga Malaysia” term was similar to the one used by Anwar Ibrahim, where the opposition leader had said: “Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, Dusun are my children.”
Meanwhile, Adieka Amirul (@dkamrl) said Ismail was not his “father”, and he was not Ismail’s son. “I’m your citizen, and I have the right to bring you down.”
Lawyer Vivek Sukumaran (@viveksukumaran8) tweeted: “I wish I could watch this farce with the Low Yat traders over drinks, and have a shot every time that phrase is uttered in the PM’s speech.”
He was referring to Ismail’s past plan in setting up Mara digital malls. Two of the malls, in Kuantan and Johor Bahru, have closed down. The Kuala Lumpur Mara Digital Mall is still operating.
Fellow lawyer Syahredzan Johan (@syahredzan) said there was “nothing new or inspiring” in Ismail’s maiden speech.
“Even Keluarga Malaysia has echoes of Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia”.
Another user, @AzimShafinyi, pointed out that in the past, when Ismail was in the opposition, he had claimed “Malaysia was ruled by DAP”.
“So, was this statement political?” he asked.