Tuesday, May 17, 2022

‘Non-president’ Ismail as PM candidate a good development, says GPS

Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu says Umno's decision indicates 'new and healthy developments' within the party.

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Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has welcomed Umno’s decision to nominate its vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the party’s candidate for prime minister if Barisan Nasional (BN) wins the general election to come, describing it as a break from the tradition of choosing a candidate from among the Umno chiefs.

Speaking to MalaysiaNow, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), the lynchpin party of GPS, described Umno’s decision as a step in the right direction.

“It indicates new and healthy developments within the party,” PBB vice-president Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said.

He said it also put to rest the speculation swirling over other names, including Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan who had previously voiced interest in contesting a seat in Parliament.

“Umno’s decision to retain Ismail as prime minister if it wins the next general election shows that the party is ready to face the polls,” he added.

“My hope is that it will bring stability to the situation.”

The Umno Supreme Council agreed last week to put forward Ismail as the party’s candidate for prime minister, a move which analysts said could be part of a ploy by the court cluster to get Ismail’s consent for the dissolution of Parliament, to pave the way for early polls.

Karim however said that GPS would not take sides in Umno’s internal conflicts.

“What happens to the leaders who are involved in court cases could cause some instability,” he said.

“Previously, those who had a majority in Parliament would automatically become the president and prime minister.

“But this changed after Perikatan Nasional took over. The prime minister is from the party and does not hold the post of president.”

GPS secretary-general Alexander Nanta Linggi meanwhile said that any attempt to topple the government and drag the people through a political crisis while the country is still recovering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic would only trigger public anxiety.

“GPS has no strong views on Umno’s stance not to extend its support for the memorandum between Pakatan Harapan and the federal government,” he said.

“But we always want the federal government to be stable, and to be able to focus on running the country, especially in ensuring economic recovery.”

Karim meanwhile called for MPs from Sabah and Sarawak to be included in the Cabinet, regardless of who wins the general election.

He also suggested that the post of deputy prime minister be given to an MP from either Sabah or Sarawak.

“If Sarawak is not given an important role to play in the Cabinet, it’s not going to help,” he said.

“If not the prime minister’s post, then perhaps there could be two deputy prime ministers, or they could hold the post in turns.”

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