Datuk Seri Johari Ghani: New PM Must Have No Long-Term Political Ambitions

"Our country needs a break from its current political narrative," he said.

Cover image via Kenny Yap/The Edge Markets

Subscribe to our Telegram channel for our latest stories and breaking news.

Former second finance minister Datuk Seri Haji Johari Abdul Ghani has called on all political parties to calm down and focus on critical issues the nation is presently facing

"At present, every economic indicator in the country shows a negative outlook," he told Free Malaysia Today.

Johari pointed out that Malaysia's latest gross domestic product (GDP) forecast will remain stagnant for the rest of the year.

"Unemployment is rising again, salary and household incomes are plunging, and consumption and investments are slowing down."

He warned that it will be extremely difficult for the country if nothing is done to contain the damage now, adding that political uncertainty will only exacerbate matters.

Datuk Seri Haji Johari Abdul Ghani.

Image via Free Malaysia Today

In the wake of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's resignation, Johari said the first order of business is for all elected representatives to reach a consensus on an interim prime minister

"The interim prime minister must be someone who harbours no political ambitions beyond the current parliamentary term," Johari suggested.

"An overly ambitious leader will always be looking to extend his tenure beyond the next general elections, which in turn will maintain or even increase the present heightened political temperature."

The UMNO Supreme Council member called for all political leaders and elected representatives to put the nation first and set aside party ideology and personal ambition to achieve it as soon as possible.

Johari believes no political party has a convincing majority to currently form a government anyway

According to him, should any coalition succeed at the moment, it will be with too slim a majority and too fragile a government for anyone to lead.

"In addition, the prospective leader will have to contend with the political and personal agendas of each and every political party and leader making up the ruling coalition," he said.

"This will put an unnecessary additional burden on the next prime minister, as was the case in the last administration."

He reiterated that the new administration needs to focus on four areas – the COVID-19 pandemic, the rakyat's welfare, the management of government finances, and economic recovery

The immediate priority must be to intensify efforts in the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme to achieve herd immunity.

"Our country needs a break from its current political narrative," he said.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong has called on all MPs to nominate a name among them to become the next Prime Minister:

Muhyiddin Yassin tendered his resignation to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after failing to hold on to his majority:

Do you think you can follow in our founding father's footsteps? Take this fun trivia quiz to find out: