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Malaysia's new government should focus on political stability, economic development, say ruling coalition leaders

Malaysia's new government should focus on political stability, economic development, say ruling coalition leaders

Malaysia's incoming Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin waves outside his residence in Kuala Lumpur before his swearing-in ceremony as the country's new leader. (Photo: AFP / Malaysia's Department of Information)

KUALA LUMPUR: The focus of Mr Muhyiddin Yassin's new administration should be to ensure political stability and economic development, said the ruling coalition's party leaders on Sunday (Mar 1).

President of Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) Abdul Hadi Awang said Mr Muhyiddin's new administration should prioritise economic recovery and act fairly to the people regardless of race, religion, or political leanings.

Mr Hadi was speaking at a press conference at the party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, hours after watching Mr Muhyiddin being sworn in as Malaysia's eighth prime minister.

PAS, along with other parties in the Perikatan Nasional coalition, had pledged their support for Mr Muhyddin and nominated him to be their prime minister candidate to end the political turmoil that gripped the country over the last week.

The other parties include the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and Mr Muhyiddin's Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).

Speaking at the press conference, Mr Hadi said: "PAS fully supports the leadership of Muhyiddin Yassin as Malaysia's eighth prime minister.

"PAS hopes the new federal government will prioritise recovering the economy, close the gap between rich and poor, and balance the development of the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak."

A press conference at the PAS party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on Mar 1, 2020. (Photo: Amir Yusof)

UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also told reporters on Sunday: "We should come together and forget our differences. We must recover the economy in order to take care of the people’s welfare. Urban poverty should also be reduced.”

Achieving this would require the support of all Malaysians, irrespective of their race and religion, he said, according to a Bernama report.

READ: PM Lee congratulates Muhyiddin Yassin on becoming Malaysia's eighth prime minister

The government must also bring the Islamic institutions under its fold again, particularly companies under Tabung Haji, said Mr Zahid.

"I am not being racist in this matter as this is already encapsulated in the national policy and we will correct the situation.

"We are not promising the moon and the stars but I think the new leadership will be better as Tan Sri Muhyiddin is more open and more grounded, and all of us in the parties that are supporting him will help in whatever way ... particularly in determining the fiscal policies and banking systems,” he added.

Mr Hadi expressed hope that the new government will be fair to Malaysians "regardless of their race, religion or political leanings".

READ: Muhyiddin Yassin: Malaysia’s veteran political survivor 


Mr Muhyiddin has yet to announce his cabinet members but some of PAS' 18 MPs are expected to be included. 

If appointed, it will mark the first time PAS is part of the federal government since 1974. However, Mr Hadi said that no decisions have been made on cabinet positions for PAS members.

"Discussions on cabinet positions have not begun yet (with the rest of the coalition). It will happen soon, God willing," said Mr Hadi.

Asked whether a meeting will be held soon to discuss the selection of a new Cabinet, Mr Zahid said he had yet to receive any indication on the matter and that it would be best left to the discretion of the prime minister.


Separately, Member of Parliament for Gombak Mohamed Azmin Ali said he was confident that Malaysians would receive well the appointment of Mr Muhyiddin and his administration to ensure the country's continued progress.

Former PKR deputy president Azmin Ali at a prayer session. (File Photo: Bernama)

"The country’s political crisis has been resolved in accordance with the Constitution and this has been a very positive thing and I am confident that the rakyat will receive it well,” said the former Parti Keadilan Rakyat deputy president.

UMNO deputy president Ismail Sabri Yaakob also said he was confident that Mr Muhyiddin would be able to resolve arising problems and provide the people confidence in the new administration.

“What is more important to me is that our country needs peace and stability. I hope there will be no more issues that will disturb the country’s peace,” he said.

On the possibility of members of parliament raising a vote of no-confidence against the new prime minister, Mr Ismail Sabri said doing so would be within their rights.

READ: Malaysia's Mahathir calls for early parliamentary sitting

READ: Malaysia’s next parliamentary sitting on Mar 9 could be postponed - reports

Mr Hadi was also asked about PAS' stand on some UMNO members who have been charged for corruption.

"What's most important is that we save the country first. This is important, after the political crisis that has happened," said Mr Hadi.

"And if you want to accuse these UMNO leaders of causing problems, the Pakatan Harapan leaders have also been causing problems, and have been stopped from being charged by the courts. They were let off just like that."

Source: CNA/bernama/jt/mi


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