Ismail Sabri says Hannah Yeoh free to criticise, but asks her to focus on Covid-19

Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh speaks during a press conference at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 22, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh speaks during a press conference at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 22, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 — Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today his daily press briefing is crucial to assure the public about the government’s continued enforcement of Covid-19 measures to curb the contagion.

Ismail was responding to Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh who criticised the National Security Council’s recent communication blunders over its work-from-home (WFH) policy.

“She is an Opposition member, so of course she would criticise,” the minister replied during his daily Covid-19 press briefing when asked for his comment about the DAP lawmaker’s remarks.

“I have to brief the public daily because if I don’t, then how would they feel safe? They need to know if the government is ensuring all measures against the pandemic is in place,” he added.

Yeoh took to Twitter yesterday to chide Ismail over several new policies outlined in the second week of the current conditional movement control order enforced on Selangor, Sabah, and the Federal Territories.

Calling them confusing, the Segambut MP said it would be better for the minister to avoid holding daily briefings “if there is nothing substantive and only adds to the confusion.”

Ismail in response suggested he is not interested in engaging Yeoh and instead urged the DAP leader to remain focused on battling the outbreak.

“I have already said just now I don’t wish to say anything apart from reminding them let’s put aside our political differences,” he said.

“What is important is I’d like to invite her to focus our energy together to battle this Covid-19 pandemic.”

Ismail had called on the public and warring political parties to set aside all differences and unite in the fight against a ravaging coronavirus.

In a seeming appeal for support, the minister said the nation is “at war” with a disease that is spreading fast, and that the government needs the public to stand behind its effort to defeat a common enemy, pointing to the alarming sharp spikes in daily Covid-19 cases.

The rallying call was made amid public flak over the many communication blunders that caused widespread confusion, among others about the government’s work-from-home (WFH) policy implemented starting today.

The Council made multiple changes to its WFH and other directives in the span of just three days, causing widespread confusion among industries and businesses who said the lack of clarity made preparations difficult and costly.

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