Malaysia GE2022: Do not be swayed by surveys, PM Ismail Sabri tells voters

Malaysia's caretaker Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob campaigning at Real Tomyam in Uptown Damansara, on Nov 14, 2022. ST PHOTO: ARRIFIN JAMAR

BERA, Malaysia – Malaysia’s caretaker Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Thursday urged voters to not be influenced by election surveys, findings and predictions, saying these only serve as propaganda for certain parties.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri added that the results could also be part of the opposition’s psychological warfare to attract voters, especially fence-sitters.

“The outcome of the findings depends on the party that appoints the company doing the survey. If it is party A that engages company B, then the report will indicate that party A is getting more support,” he said. “That is why we should not be influenced by the findings.”

Mr Ismail Sabri was responding to reports by independent bodies predicting public acceptance towards political parties contesting in the 2022 general election, claiming Barisan Nasional was lagging in securing parliamentary seats.

He said sentiments among youths towards Barisan have improved.

“This is what I have been informed, not just in Bera but also in other areas. To reach out to the young people, Barisan needs to fully utilise social media platforms because that is where the young ones are,” he said.

Speaking about his own prospect, Mr Ismail Sabri said he would form a lean Cabinet if he gets the mandate in the general election.

He acknowledged that his last Cabinet was too large.

“I must admit that the Cabinet was big, but for sure, I intend to lead a lean Cabinet, comprising individuals with different backgrounds, experience and expertise, and not just politicians,” he said. “I want to create an administrative team that is strong, capable, visionary, knowledgeable and creative.”

There were 32 Cabinet members, including the prime minister, along with 38 deputy ministers when Mr Ismail Sabri took over the helm of the federal administration in August 2021.

He said creating a conducive climate for investors and outlining workable strategies to overcome a possible slow economy were also on the cards.

Cutting red tape would be one area that needs to be further improved, he said, pointing out that having to go through various agencies and applications may hamper foreign investors’ interest in Malaysia.

He added that he also intends to review Malaysia’s foreign policies, so that Kuala Lumpur’s presence is once again felt and its voice heard on global platforms.

Acknowledging that this has not been the case lately, he said changes need to be made so that Malaysia could once again stand out internationally.

“We want to return to the days when our views on the world were sought after.

We need to be seen as more involved and our presence better felt in championing major issues,” he said.

Mr Ismail Sabri said political stability would remain his core focus if he gets the mandate to lead Malaysia for the next five years, pointing out that prosperity and economic growth could only happen with political stability.

“Because of political stability, we have managed to bring economic recovery post-Covid-19 pandemic, and this can be seen with the latest report on the gross domestic product growth of 14.2 per cent in the third quarter of the year,” he said.

Mr Ismail Sabri also said that if Barisan were to win the election, it would invite Gabungan Parti Sarawak and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah to form the federal government. THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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