The news of Kedah Umno chief Jamil Khir Baharom being appointed as Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s religious advisor raises a lot of questions.
Why does the prime minister have to appoint three advisors, each costing RM50,000 a month, when there are already ministers advising him on religion, health, and both law and human rights.
Does Ismail not trust his cabinet ministers to provide him the feedback that he needs, or are they deemed to be incompetent? If they are unable to perform their functions, at least they have officers who can be called upon to advise the prime minister, unless of course, Ismail Sabri can no longer trust anyone from within his cabinet colleagues.
Ismail Sabri has just three months ago appointed Senator Idris Ahmad as the religious affairs minister. If he can no longer trust Idris because he is from PAS, the prime minister should replace him with Jamil. Both PM and Idris owe the public an explanation as it involves a lot of taxpayer’s money every month just to upkeep the two key positions, especially at time when people are trying to make ends meet. On everyone’s mind now is how to put food on the table, pay bills and raise children.
We are seeing one of the worst economic crises impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and inflation. While COVID-19 is a global health issue, inflation, on the other hand, is largely caused by domestic issues which Ismail Sabri should address immediately instead of appointing people at his whims and fancies as advisors at the expense of the people.
Inflation has deflated the value of the Malaysian ringgit, causing a rise in the prices of goods. Therefore, if anything, Ismai Sabri should replace all three advisors with a team of well-qualified economic advisors to help the government in bringing the country back on track again.