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Malaysian PM urges country to unite in COVID-19 fight in inaugural speech

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-08-22 20:25

New Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob waves from a car, as he leaves after the inauguration ceremony, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia August 21, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Sunday urged his country to unite against the difficulties posted by the COVID-19 pandemic in his first public speech since being appointed to the post.

In a televised speech, Ismail Sabri sought to strike a conciliatory tone, following months of political tensions that led to the resignation of his predecessor Muhyiddin Yassin.

"We are all a part of a family despite our different religions and ethnicity. Every one of you is like my own family, whether you may be young or old. We complement each other, each needing the other as do different parts of a single body."

Ismail Sabri said his government will continue the effort to push forward the vaccination program to build protection against the COVID-19 while taking measures to revive the economy hampered by the pandemic.

Ismail Sabri also reached out to the country's opposition, inviting them to join the national recovery council and the special committee on COVID-19, to contribute to the combat against the outbreak facing the country.

"I understand the political conflicts have affected the country and distressed the public. Therefore, it is imperative that political stability is swiftly achieved through togetherness, and this includes cross-party cooperation," he said.

Ismail Sabri was sworn in as Prime Minister on Saturday.

Malaysia reported another 19,807 new COVID-19 infections on Sunday, bringing the national total to 1,555,093.

Another 232 deaths have been reported, bringing the total deaths to 14,168.

As of Saturday, some 55.5 percent of the population have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 38.9 percent are fully vaccinated.

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