PM offers bipartisan cooperation, outlines 2 main objectives for economy

Ismail Sabri urges all lawmakers to ‘forget our differences by working together’ in his ‘Malaysian Family’ concept

by AZREEN HANI

PRIME Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has outlined two main objectives to revive the economy and offered bipartisan cooperation to manage the ongoing pandemic crisis in Malaysia.

In his maiden speech as the PM yesterday, Ismail Sabri urged all lawmakers from all sides of the political divide to “forget our differences by working together” in his “Malaysian Family” concept.

“We need to find a common ground and move towards building a consensus for the security and safety of our family, Malaysian Family,” he said in a televised speech.

On the economic revival, Ismail Sabri said the government is returning public prosperity by amplifying efforts in increasing the purchasing power among the domestic consumers.

The second objective, he said, is to strengthen the private sector’s role as a significant driver of the nation’s economic growth.

“Our focus will be on Malaysians who have lost their jobs and their only source of income, middle-income Malaysians, small and medium industries, as well as industrial sectors which include domestic tourism,” the Bera MP added.

“Such focus are some of the short-term initiatives in returning the vibrance of people’s economy, as well as stimulating the national economy holistically.

“I will personally ensure that no one will be left behind or neglected, regardless of race, religion and ethnic differences,” said the ninth PM.

On bipartisan cooperation, Ismail Sabri offered the Opposition to be part of the National Recovery Council (NRC) and the Special Committee on Covid-19.

“His Majesty the King in his meeting with the heads of all political parties recently decreed to all of us to bury our differences for the sake of prosperity and the welfare of the people.

“All parties should be able to work as a team to preserve harmony in the country. In other words, we must embrace the spirit of togetherness,” said Ismail Sabri.

“It is imperative that political stability is swiftly achieved through togetherness, and this includes cross-party cooperation,” he added.

In response to Ismail Sabri’s call, Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman called for Undi18 — or the lowering of voting age to 18 — to be implemented.

“This is a historic bipartisan agreement. Let’s do this together,” Syed Saddiq said on his Twitter account.

Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the reconciliatory speech by the PM is a great start to reduce the heated political climate recently.

“The invitation to the Opposition to join the NRC and the special Covid-19 taskforce is good for the coming sitting in September.

“I pray all parties will stand down and walk the talk on wanting to move on from the political crisis for the sake of the nation,” she said.

On Covid battle efforts, the PM emphasised that the common enemy is the pandemic which has been plaguing the nation since January last year.

“The world is facing a critical situation posed by an ever-evolving virus, from an alpha variant to a beta variant and now the latest, the lambda variant.

“Therefore, the previous government strategies will be enhanced via collective views among our national public health experts.

“I will ensure that each effort and intervention by the government to bring down the number of Covid-19 cases in the country is more comprehensive.”

The 61-year-old leader said the Covid-19 containment implementation will be carried out via strategic inter-governmental cooperation and with involvement of all stakeholders from both public and private sectors in order to ensure the national healthcare system is re-stabilised.

The government is optimistic of the future prospects of people going back to visiting parents in their hometown, celebrating festivities and travelling domestically.

“Youngsters can once again enjoy recreational activities, return to their higher learning institutions and most importantly, our children can return to school,” he said, citing Labuan as an example with only single-digit infections for seven days in a row after achieving 90% adult herd immunity.

“This does not mean that we will be completely free from the threat of Covid-19. Rather, when we have reached herd immunity, the virus will not pose a serious threat as it does today,” Ismail Sabri said, adding that six million additional Covid-19 vaccine doses are expected to arrive next month.