KOTA KINABALU: The appointments of Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri as Deputy Prime Minister and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein as Senior Minister (Security) will further strengthen the Perikatan Nasional-led government, say political parties in Sabah.
Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said the appointments were timely and fitting, especially in meeting the current needs of the country as it faces enormous challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The new appointments will also further strengthen the stability of the Perikatan government, and PBS will continue to work closely with both leaders at the federal and state levels.
“The new Deputy Prime Minister (Ismail Sabri) is the right person for the task as he has performed well as Senior Minister in the last one year,” added the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs).
In congratulating the new appointees, Ongkili said PBS believes Hishammuddin will be able to carry out his duties well as the Senior Minister overseeing the security cluster.
Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (Sabah STAR) president Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said he hoped the new appointments would translate to a further strengthening of the strategic partnership between the Sabah government and the Federal Government.
“Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin personally informed me of the decision to appoint Ismail Sabri to the post.
“Ismail Sabri’s solid track record, having held numerous important portfolios in the government, will help relieve the Prime Minister of some of his duties, especially in handling the pandemic situation,” he added.
Kitingan said the fact that Muhyiddin personally called his political allies to inform them of this appointment spoke volumes of his leadership, which sets him apart from previous prime ministers.
“Muhyiddin said that it took him a long time to decide on this appointment. It shows that this decision was well thought out and not done hastily,” he added.
Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said the two appointments would strengthen the administration.
He said the two ministers were experienced and capable leaders, adding that they had performed well in their previous Cabinet portfolios.
“The appointments would further enhance the government’s capability in managing the Covid-19 pandemic in the country,” he said.
Kurup added that the nation needed a stable governance structure to fight the pandemic and bring the country back on track.
He said now was not the time to play politics but to help the people and the country recover from the pandemic.
Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee said the new posts would strengthen the government in terms of putting focus on the National Recovery Plan (NRP) to be executed in the shortest possible time.
“This is what the people want. The Prime Minister has obviously made these decisions with the NRP in mind and to ensure the Cabinet is manned by able, experienced leaders with excellent crisis management track records to help steer the nation’s post-pandemic economic regeneration plan,” he added.
Yong, who is also Perikatan supreme council deputy chairman, said the appointments were supported by all leaders in the council.