KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s appointment as economic adviser to the four PAS-led state governments was not necessary to help the states attract foreign direct investment (FDI).
He said Mahathir’s role would be redundant as the investment, trade and industry ministry (Miti) has never restricted its efforts only to states aligned with Putrajaya.
“As far as the federal government is concerned, any investments coming in would benefit the country as a whole.
“So there has never been a case of (potential foreign) investments in Kelantan being prohibited just because it was an opposition state,” he told a press conference after officiating the “Simposium Antarabangsa Aspirasi Bahasa Melayu” here.
Ismail also pointed out that despite being opposition states for several terms, Selangor and Penang were never left behind by the Barisan Nasional-led administration in Putrajaya when it came to FDI.
“The federal government would never ignore (opposition) states when it comes to foreign investments,” he said, referring to Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis.
Recently, the four menteris besar in the SG4 grouping agreed to appoint Mahathir as the states’ informal adviser particularly on administrative matters and to bring in foreign investment.
On alleged protests by Pahang Umno Youth members over Amizar Abu Adam being fielded as the Barisan Nasional candidate for the Pelangai by-election, Ismail urged members to support whoever is put forward to defend the state seat for the sake of the party.
He said members must remember what was at stake and that losing the Pelangai seat would tarnish Umno’s image as a whole.
Umno Youth chief Dr Akmal Saleh yesterday denied any protest from members of the wing against Amizar’s nomination as BN’s candidate.
This followed a move by Haslihelmy DM Zulhasli to contest in the Pelangai by-election as an independent candidate.
On Saturday, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced that Haslihelmy’s membership had been automatically revoked by him challenging BN for the seat.
Separately, Ismail urged Umno to conduct a post mortem to discuss how the party could regain Malay support, following trends observed that Perikatan Nasional (PN) had been increasingly winning over votes from the community.
Political analyst Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara was previously reported to have said that while the Pakatan Harapan-Barisan Nasional alliance had successfully retained the Pulai parliamentary seat in Johor earlier this month, PN still managed to get 9,000 more votes than it did in the 15th general election (GE15).