Capable ministers needed for recovery

Robert Lau Hui Yew

KUCHING: Newly appointed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob will need to appoint capable ministers for the government to steer the country to recover from the Covid-19 and economic crisis.

Senator Robert Lau Hui Yew said he expected that the United Malay National Organisation (Umno) vice-president to retain most of the ministers in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government or at least, the positions given to same political parties.

“This will prevent infighting over positions in the cabinet among the different parties that supported him. It looks very much like a continuity of the previous PN government in terms of ministers and policies,” he said in a Facebook post.

Lau who is Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Bawang Assan chief said Ismail’s appointment as premier was a case of him being at the right place at the right time.

“The appointment of Ismail Sabri as prime minister is a quick promotion for him as he was only very recently appointed by Muhyiddin as his deputy,” he said.

Lau lamented that the opposition spurned the opportunity to carry out major reforms after outgoing premier Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin extended an olive branch to obtain their support.

He said the offer was cynically and quickly shot down by opposition leaders except for the two Democratic Action Party (DAP) MPs, namely Tony Pua and Ong Kian Ming who asked the offer to be considered seriously.

“This was despite what was offered was what they had been fighting for all along or at least that’s what they said. It was a case of putting political interest above the people’s interest.

“One can call Muhyiddin a desperate leader for making such offer, but it also took a brave person to do so. It was nonetheless an offer that was worthy of consideration. And a rare one!

“This was a black swan event. Malaysia could have been looking forward to a major reform next week had the opposition accepted the offer,” he said.