Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob drew criticism from Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders as well as social media users after a set of pictures showing him posing with a group of Umno leaders in his official jet made the rounds, hours after he clocked in for his first day of work at the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday.
It is understood that Ismail had flown to Kedah, where several areas were hard hit by floods over the weekend.
The pictures showed Ismail on the jet accompanied by former Kedah menteri besar Mahdzir Khalid, Umno Supreme Council member Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, Kuala Krau MP Ismail Mohamed Said and several others.
Some questioned why there were so many people tagging along with the prime minister on the plane, adding that the Umno leaders were not being sensitive to the current economic hardships faced by the people.
Amanah vice-president Mahfuz Omar sarcastically referred to the phrase “Malaysian Family” which Ismail had used in his maiden speech as prime minister on Sunday.
“Thank God for ‘family’,” the Pokok Sena MP added.
In a similar tone, PKR activist Hasmi Hashim tweeted that his party boss Anwar Ibrahim would probably be blamed for this as well.
“Umno jostling for power was Anwar’s fault. Ismail going on a plane ride with many people is Anwar’s fault, that’s that,” Hasmi said, in the wake of criticism over Anwar’s failure to obtain the support of the majority to become prime minister.
Kedah Amanah chairman Ismail Salleh meanwhile mocked the large group on the plane.
“How fun to have one big family on one jet,” he said.
Yesterday, Ismail announced that RM75 million would be channelled to Kedah to repair the damaged infrastructure and public facilities in Yan and Merbok following the Gunung Jerai mudflow last Wednesday.
Ismail, the Umno vice-president, was appointed to replace Muhyiddin Yassin who resigned after losing his fragile majority due to a group of MPs led by Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Najib Razak withdrawing their support for him.