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Does Ismail want to see govt split, asks Loke

The transport minister says Umno's ties with Pakatan Harapan are merely a form of cooperation, not a marriage.

Azzman Abdul Jamal
2 minute read
Transport Minister Anthony Loke. Photo: Bernama
Transport Minister Anthony Loke. Photo: Bernama

Transport Minister Anthony Loke today questioned recent remarks by Ismail Sabri Yaakob, saying it appeared as though the former prime minister wanted to see divisions in the government. 

Loke, the DAP secretary-general, also said that the cooperation between Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN) was on the advice of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, following the inconclusive results of the recent general election. 

"Don't, as a former prime minister, wish for divisions in the government of the day," he told reporters.

"I don't know what his intentions are. It's as if he wants to see conflict in today's unity government." 

Ismail, the Bera MP and former Umno vice-president, previously criticised the government led by Anwar Ibrahim, questioning the viability of the cooperation between Umno and PH. 

He said cracks in the cooperation could already be seen after at least two senior Johor Umno leaders rebuked several DAP and PKR leaders for comments seen as an insult to the Malay party.

"Right now, this is just the beginning. We'll see. I don't want to comment any further. But it's happening already – DAP making comments against Umno, Umno making comments against DAP," he told reporters yesterday, comparing the situation to a forced marriage. 

Loke however said that Umno's ties with PH were not a "marriage", merely a form of cooperation. 

"I would like to advise Ismail that the cooperation between PH and BN in order to form the government was the advice of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong," he added. 

He also denied conflict between Umno and DAP leaders, saying all statements issued were more of individual views than those of the party. 

He said everyone had the right to express their views, adding that he was powerless to stop them from doing so. 

"As is the case with many parties, some of the views aired are personal views," he said. 

"But when the party makes a decision, that is the party's stand."