Appointments of Ismail Sabri, Hishammuddin fitting, help strengthen govt: PN parties

Appointments of Ismail Sabri, Hishammuddin fitting, help strengthen govt: PN parties

KUALA LUMPUR: Perikatan Nasional (PN) component parties and those in the PN government have expressed full support for the appointment of Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob(pix) as Deputy Prime Minister, saying it can strengthen the administration.

The leaders said the Defence Minister could use his vast experience in the Cabinet and party to stabilise and strengthen the government, especially at a time when the country is grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic.

PAS secretary-general Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan said Ismail Sabri could assist Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in managing the country, especially in ensuring the success of the National Recovery Plan (PPN).

“It is fitting based on his experience as a minister and senior minister before and he is the most senior Umno leader in the Perikatan Nasional government cabinet,“ he said in a statement here yesterday.

PAS also congratulated Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein on his appointment as Senior Minister (Security Cluster).

“As a senior member in the government earlier, he should be able to work together with other cabinet members to gain Malaysia more respect at the international level,“ he said.

Earlier, the Prime Minister’s Office announced the appointment of Ismail Sabri as Deputy Prime Minister while retaining the portfolio of Defence Minister.

In a statement, it also announced that Hishammuddin had been appointed as Senior Minister (Security Cluster) and retains his portfolio as Foreign Minister.

Gerakan president Datuk Dr Dominic Lau said the appointment was an important trust in strengthening the effectiveness of PN in maintaining political stability and maturity, as well as moving the focus of the entire government machinery towards PPN.

“To all politicians, now is not the time to be at loggerheads with each other or to fulfil the political will of certain people. PN will continue to be strong and steer its responsibility to be with the people in rebuilding this beloved Malaysia,“ he said.

Meanwhile, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor said Ismail and Hishammuddin can count on the Sabah government for its full support to carry out their duties for the people.

Hajiji, also Gabungan Rakyat Sabah chairman, in a statement tonight said the appointments are most appropriate considering that both have vast experience in senior ministerial positions. It will also strengthen the Federal government and PN and at the same time allows Malaysia to focus on the effort to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, he added.

Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) President Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, who is also Minister in Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs), said the appointment was timely and fitting especially in meeting the current needs of the country as it faces enormous challenges from Covid-19.

“The appointment would further strengthen the Cabinet line-up and the government. The new Deputy Prime Minister (Ismail) is the right person as he has performed well as Senior Minister, while Hishammuddin will be able to carry out his duties well as the senior minister overseeing the security cluster,” said Ongkili.

Sabah Progressive Party President Datuk Yong Teck Lee said the appointments will further strengthen the PN-led government to achieve the National Recovery Plan in the shortest possible time which is what the people need right now.

“The Prime Minister has obviously made these decisions with the Covid-19 pandemic National Recovery Plan in mind and to ensure the Cabinet is suitably manned by able, experienced statesmen with excellent crisis management track records to help steer the nation post-pandemic economic recovery,” he said.

Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said Ismail Sabri’s appointment was well-considered and not done hastily.

“The fact that the prime minister personally called his political allies to inform us of this appointment speaks volumes about his leadership personality, which sets him apart from previous prime ministers.

“Star congratulates Ismail Sabri on his appointment as Deputy Prime Minister and expresses hope for further strengthening of the strategic partnership between Sabah and the Federal government,“ he said.

Presiden Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) president, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said the appointment would enhance the government’s ability, especially in reviving the country’s economy and helping the people during this difficult period.

He said the country needed a stable government to face challenges, especially on the health crisis, and all parties needed to work together in combating the pandemic.

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Ir Hasni Mohammad said he was confident that the two leaders from Umno would be able to govern and realise the government’s efforts, change the state’s landscape in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and drive the country’s economy to a realistic level.

Hasni, who is also the Johor Umno Liaison Committee chairman, said the effort was not only to address Covid-19 but the country’s economic situation, he told reporters when met at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA) in Johor Bahru yesterday.

Sharing his views, Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said the appointment of the two leaders would bring a better impact in improving the performance and capabilities of the government as a whole.

“On behalf of the Kedah Government, I congratulate and welcome the appointment of Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as Deputy Prime Minister announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today.

“Congratulations are also extended to Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein on his appointment as Senior Minister of Foreign Affairs who will also lead the Security Cluster and will specifically assist the Prime Minister in the implementation of PPN,“ he said in a statement here yesterday.

Cabinet colleague and Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali also congratulated the two leaders.

Azmin through his Facebook and Twitter pages said that with the experience and credibility possessed by Ismail Sabri and Hishammuddin, it will strengthen the government and the prosperity of the country.

Meanwhile, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) hoped that the two appointments would allow all quarters to shift their focus back to the key issues facing the country.

GPS secretary-general Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said the issue of people’s welfare, well-being and security, apart from economic recovery in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic should be the main concern of everyone at this moment.

“I am confident and believe that their appointments will give a fresh impetus to the country’s administration as we together battle the Covid-19 pandemic for the good of everyone,” he said in a statement yesterday..

National Angkatan Bersatu Anak Muda (Armada) chief Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal said the appointments of Ismail Sabri and Hishammuddin were based on their vast experience and could help the government in combating Covid-19.

“Armada Bersatu welcomes this move which is in line with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s command for the government to focus on delivering the best services to the people,” he said in a statement yesterday. –Bernama