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Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob  arrive at Parliament, Kuala Lumpur July 29, 2021. — Bernama pic
Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob arrive at Parliament, Kuala Lumpur July 29, 2021. — Bernama pic

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KUCHING, Aug 20 — Sabahan leaders in the Perikatan Nasional alliance have welcomed Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakub as Malaysia’s ninth Prime Minister, expressing confidence that he will be able to foster good federal-state relations.

Parti Bersatu Sabah president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili described the former deputy prime minister as the perfect choice to fill the unexpected leadership vacuum, and that he had shown his leadership capabilities and skills in the last 17 months as a senior minister.

“In the last 17 months, he had the opportunity to exemplify his leadership as the deputy prime minister and senior minister of defence and security, and played a key role in managing the on-going battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are confident that Ismail Sabri will do extremely well as he takes on the job as the prime minister. PBS looks forward to working closely with him, especially on the development and security needs of Sabah, and as for both Sabah and Sarawak, to resolve outstanding matters related to the Malaysia Agreement of 1963,” he said.

The Kota Marudu Member of Parliament added that Ismail Sabri has consistently spoken up on the need for compliance of the MA63, as well as always supporting the development needs and demands of Sabah and Sarawak.

He will now take on the task of chairmanship of the MA63 Special Council, as the new prime minister.

“Of course, the immediate task at hand for the new prime minister and the government is to win the fight against the deadly Covid-19 virus and achieve economic recovery as soon as possible. We, in PBS, believe the new prime minister is ready for the task ahead,” Ongkili said.

Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) president Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan also congratulated Ismail Sabri and said the party will extend its cooperation to him.

“The party is delighted to be part of the historic transition and is convinced that Ismail, who has an extensive experience in the federal administration, will carry on the good work of his predecessor, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“There is no question that the new federal administration will continue to collaborate with the GRS government in Sabah, including restoring the rights of Sabah and her people, as this is an issue of great importance for us.

“After weeks of political uncertainty, I hope that the question of who has the majority will be put to rest and that all political parties will finally be able to work together as we continue our battle against Covid-19,” he said.

“The new PM and Cabinet should consider establishing a non-partisan war-room to tackle Covid and handle economic recovery,” he said.

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