KUALA LUMPUR : Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the Memorandum of Understanding on Transformation and Political Stability signed between the government and opposition Pakatan Harapan leaders has had a positive impact.
He said the current (political) state of affairs seemed relatively calm, and this includes the situation in the ongoing parliamentary session.
“It has become calmer outside there and the attacks on the government that were prevalent before have lessened, despite them being the Opposition (although) I have told them not to stop playing their role as the opposition. Criticising the government is their job (and) there needs to be check and balance.
“However, despite telling them (Opposition) this, there have been fewer attacks on the government in Parliament. As for out there, it is very quiet and calm… Also, the speeches (in Parliament) are no more aggressive whereas before there had to be a standing order (ruling) each time someone speaks,” he said in a special interview with senior editors recently.
He said the current situation showed that there was a growing sense of mutual respect among Members of Parliament.
Asked whether this was a result of the government’s cooperation with the opposition or due to his leadership as Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri jokingly replied: “I do not know, it’s hard to say. The Opposition leader said this PM is more courteous, (but) that’s a personal view.
On whether the opposition’s input was taken into consideration when preparing the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), Ismail Sabri there had been engagement sessions involving the opposition and government departments.
“Prior to this, briefings only involved the government and not the opposition, but this time around, I wanted both (government and opposition) to be in the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) briefings. There were no interruptions, the questions were professional and not heated as all they (opposition) wanted were truthful answers.
He said the 12MP was prepared more inclusively by taking into account input and suggestions not only from the government and the opposition but also stakeholders, including the public and private sectors covering industry experts and corporate members, academicians, community leaders, civil society and international organisations.
The prime minister said although the memorandum was signed towards the end before 12MP’s implementation, there were still many views (from the Opposition) that were taken into account to ensure integrity, accountability and transparency.