Umno MPs cautioned not to ‘overdose’ on following PM around

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This was after Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob came under fire for breaching Covid-19 SOPs during his visit to Yan and Kuala Muda to visit victims affected by the floods in Gunung Jerai.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has come under fire for breaching Covid-19 standard operating procedure (SOP) by chairing a meeting with Umno leaders in a crowded room.

Twitter user LaFarEast shared a picture that showed Ismail and several Umno leaders, such as Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, not observing physical distancing, while other lawmakers were seen not wearing masks.

Ipoh Barat MP M Kula Segaran commented on the picture, criticising the new PM for his blatant disregard for the SOP.

“New government? Same blatant disregard for SOPs,” he tweeted.

The picture was taken in Kedah, during Ismail’s trip to Yan and Kuala Muda to visit victims affected by the floods in Gunung Jerai.

Several other pictures of the trip that went viral on social media have also attracted flak from social media users and lawmakers.

Criticism has also been levelled over a billboard erected in Kuala Muda, one of the flood-hit areas, welcoming the prime minister on his visit.

Ismail Sabri had flown to Kedah yesterday aboard a government jet.

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Among the Umno lawmakers allegedly photographed on board were Mahdzir Khalid (Padang Terap), Tajuddin (Pasir Salak), Ismail Mohamed Said (Kuala Krau), Hasan Arifin (Rompin) and Mohd Salim Sharif (Jempol).

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Wanita Umno chief Noraini Ahmad was also reportedly among those who were with the premier during his site visits.

PKR Youth chief Akmal Nasir said the new prime minister’s visit to Kedah was tone-deaf and showed he was out of touch with the plight and suffering of flood victims.

“It is no wonder that some netizens believe that this is a study trip that is wasteful.

“Besides that, what is the point of erecting a large billboard saying ‘welcome and congratulations Ismail Sabri on the appointment as prime minister’ in the middle of a disaster area?

“Is this a ‘gimmick’ for him to introduce himself to disaster victims, who are still struggling with the aftermath, that he is the new prime minister?” Akmal asked in a statement.

Several other pictures of the trip that went viral on social media have also attracted flak from social media users and lawmakers.

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The PKR youth leader added that Ismail’s entourage consisted of more than 50 cars.

The trip to Yan was his maiden trip as prime minister after he was sworn in on Saturday.

The floods have claimed five victims so far while one is still missing.

About 800 houses in Yan and another 200 in Kuala Muda were also affected by the disaster.

An Umno supreme council member has also urged the party’s lawmakers to exercise control and protect Ismail Sabri’s image.

Mohd Alwi Che Ahmad said this did not reflect well on the prime minister or Umno.

“Yesterday it was viral, scores of cars followed. (MPs) used the prime minister’s plane. It’s ok to come on board, but this is (Umno’s) old image.

“This image makes people mad at us, so don’t be excessive. You can go but don’t show off,” he said when met by reporters after the Kelantan state assembly sitting today.

“I don’t like it that in just a few days (of Ismail Sabri being sworn in) we act this way. Don’t ‘overdose’ (in crowding the prime minister),” he also said.