One year in office, PM is \u2018generous and humble as always\u2019

2022-08-25 5 views 0



Colleagues and classmates remember Prime Minister Ismail Sabri as a generous and humble man, always willing to give to others. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, August 19, 2022.

GENEROUS and humble. Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, according to his former schoolmates, still retains these traits although he is at the pinnacle of his career and has been leading the nation for a year now. 

Amiruslan Manaf, 63, who went to SM Air Putih in Kuantan, Pahang, with Ismail in 1973 and was his hostel mate as well, has fond memories of Malaysia’s ninth prime minister.

Describing him as caring and always helpful, he said Ismail was also generous in a number of ways.

“He made friends easily and was disciplined, but what I remember most about him was that he was not stingy and would always share whatever good things he had with us.

“At that time, his brother was studying at Universiti Malaya and whenever he visited our hostel, he would bring along new books, which Ismail would never fail to share with us.

“If he buys any kuih-muih or brings back some from home, he would offer them to us too, even if he only had a few pieces. He would invite whoever was present in the hostel to enjoy the treats with him,” Amiruslan said, who hails from Temerloh, Pahang.

His wife Fakhriyatie Mohd Lotfie, 63, also an ex-student of the same school, said Ismail was fondly addressed as ‘Yee’ or ‘Mail’ by his friends.




“He respects his teachers a lot. This is reflected in his conversations with his school alumni in their WhatsApp chat group… (we have heard that) he still sets aside time to visit his former teachers to find out how they are keeping.

“Ismail is still the same person he used to be… despite his busy schedule, he attended some of our reunions (when he was a minister and deputy prime minister previously). Occasionally, he would say ‘hello’ to us in our WhatsApp group,” she said.

Willing to shift political base to Bera

Ismail humbleness was evident in his daily interactions with the people he knew and the public, and during his political career, according to Umno leader Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin.

Recalling the turn of events after the delineation of electoral boundaries was completed in 2004, he said Ismail, who was then an Umno vice-president, willingly gave way to him and agreed to move his political base from Temerloh Umno division to Bera, a new division created by the party after delineation.

“We were both deputy division chiefs then. I was in Mentakab, while Ismail was in Temerloh. After the delineation, one of us had to make a sacrifice,” Sharkar said.