PETALING JAYA: A lean Cabinet, stable politics, a sound economy with reduced bureaucracy are among promises Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob will deliver if he gets the mandate to lead Malaysia for the next five years.
The caretaker Prime Minister acknowledged that many felt that the last Cabinet was large.
“I must admit that. For sure, I intend to lead a lean Cabinet, comprising individuals with different backgrounds, experience and expertise, and not just politicians.
“I want to create an administrative team that is strong, capable, visionary, knowledgeable and creative,” he said in an interview aired over major television stations on Tuesday night (Nov 15).
There were 32 Cabinet members (including the prime minister) along with 38 deputy ministers when Ismail Sabri took the helm of the federal administration in August last year.
He said political stability remained his core focus, pointing out that prosperity and economic growth could only happen with political stability.
Ismail Sabri said this was why he signed a memorandum of understanding with Pakatan Harapan when he took office last year.
“Because of the political stability, we managed to bring economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic and this can be seen with the latest report on Gross Domestic Product growth of 14.2% in the third quarter of the year.
“We will continue with these efforts as well as what we have planned under Budget 2023,” he said.
Creating a conducive climate for investors and outlining workable strategies to overcome possible slow economy are also on the cards.
The Prime Minister also intends to ensure Malaysia’s presence is once again felt and her voice is heard on global platforms, acknowledging this had not been the case lately and changes need to be made for the country to play a more active role internationally.
The government will continue with efforts on poverty eradication, stressing this was not a mere cliché but a commitment to lessen the gap between rural and urban areas as well as between regions.
“We will bring more development to Sabah and Sarawak, particularly infrastructure as better facilities come with more economic opportunities,” he added.
Ismail Sabri said his successes despite taking over the federal administration during challenging times made him a better choice for prime minister after the elections.
Besides the agreement with Pakatan, he said his administration managed to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic through vaccination programmes and better manage the economy which resulted in highest foreign direct investment, trade and exports.
His administration had also managed to get several laws passed such as the anti-party hopping law, Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the anti-sexual harassment law.
“I believe that despite being the Prime Minister for 14 months, my government has resolved many issues. Try to give me another five years and there is so much more that I can do for the people,” he said.
Barisan had named Ismail Sabri as its prime minister candidate while Pakatan and Perikatan Nasional had named Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin respectively.
Ismail Sabri advised the people to make wise choices at the ballot box.
“One must choose a government that has a proven track record and the ability to bring prosperity and stability to the country,” he said.