Hishammudin Back at Jalan Padang Tembak

SHAH ALAM: Prime Minister DS Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced his Cabinet this morning. With just 15 months before the next general elections, most of the ministers appointed were from the previous Cabinet with DS Hishammudin Hussein swapping his role at Wisma Putra to Jalan Padang Tembak for his second stint as minister and also with the title of Senior Minister. He joined cousin, DS Najib Razak for having a second ministerial stint at the ministry.

The Sembrong MP, was the Defence Minister during the Najib administration before being succeeded by Mohamad Sabu after the PH government took over following the May 2018 general elections. He became the Foreign Minister when the PN government took over from PH in March, 2020.

Hishammuddin checking out the 12.7mm HMG fitted on the Tun Sharifah Rodziah sea base in 2015. Joint Force picture.

Hishammudin was appointed Senior Minister, barely a month ago by PM8 who resigned earlier this month after losing the majority.

A Nuri armed with a 12.7mm machinegun during a visit by Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammudin Hussein in late 2014.

In a previous post, I wrote that it would be better if Ismail Sabri continued with his stint at Jalan Padang Tembak instead of getting a replacement. I also wrote despite his experience, it would be better if Hishammuddin was not selected for the post due to his track record at the ministry but I guess Ismail Sabri had no other choice.

Another angle of the keel of the first LCS, most likely from the bow end when Hishammudin Hussein launched the first keel in 2016. H20 picture

Ismail Sabri however retained the immediate former deputy Defence minister in the new Cabinet which means Tanah Merah MP Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz would returned to the ministry for a second stint.

Ikmal Hisham, the deputy defense minister. RMN

Meanwhile, the immediate former Home Minister Hamzah Zainuddin was reappointed to the post together with the immediate former deputies Ismail Mohd Said and Jonathan Yassin.

Hamzah Zainuddin. Internet


— Malaysian Defence

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10 Comments

  1. Basically all that talk about ineffective government lah, kerajaan gagal lah, was all hot air and only meant to set a coup against TSMY, as virtually the same “ineffective” PN Government was brought back wholesale but with UMNO sitting on top.

    Once more, the rakyat have been played out for their emotional sentiments and further destabilise our country.

  2. On the flip side, the LCS fiasco really started during HH first stint, so I really hope in his 2nd stint he takes responsibility and get it finally done.

  3. The beauty of HH becoming the new Defense Minister is that:

    1. Malaysia has bigger and better chance to buy more military hardware from China

    2. Defence relations between Malaysia and China will improve

    3. There’s no more tension between Malaysia and China in the SCS

  4. There is a misconception that the defence minister is solely responsible for the decision to buy military hardware from certain countries. Most of the decisions on previous procurements were the prerogative of the then PM. I did not see any change in policy even in this new government. Its the same about the health of defence relationships, the minister just follow the decision of the PM though they will say it is the Cabinet decision

  5. Yes there seems to be a misconception that having a particular person at MINDEF will change things; it’s not the person but the system; as Marhalim has pointed out. Unless the system changes; things will remain the same : the MAF will remain underfunded; whatever cash we spend will not be put to optimum use and the average rakyat will remain very indifferent towards defence.

  6. On the LCS; brass tacks. The main reason (a fundamental one) why things went ratshit was because of the hugely political decision (during Zahid’s tenure) to have all of the ships built here; as part of the illusion that it actually benefits the country. Then again many still buy the idea of the “self sufficiency” gaga cloud cuckoo land myth/fantasy.

    That was not the Defence Minister’s sole or final decision; although he may have been extremely supportive of the idea. Again; it boils down to out highly flawed defence policy; where national interests; including that of the local industry takes precedence over that of the end user and taxpayer.

    At the very least the lead ship should have been built in France; followed by the rest here in partial or gradual steps. This would have enabled BNS to go through a learning curve. It’s the system which enabled the cockup to occur; not any one individual.

  7. The said public indifference of the Rakyat towards defence issues and spending is also due to the Defence Ministry and proponents not thinking of better ways to educate Joe Public about Defence, why we need to budget and spend it well. Awareness of real defence matters isn’t communicated to the laymen. For example, do the Defence Ministry have a school program where kids are exposed to what security issues the nation’s concerned about. Recruitment Campaigns can start from these school visits and expos. Semi permanent Recruitment Booths should be set up in malls and community centres. These are real community-wide approachment that will demystify the armed services. We can’t have just war pantomime and battle reenactments that doesn’t really strike at the public’s attention. Sure, there’ll be periodic patriotic expressions at these events but the outreach effect isn’t there. In places like rural and semi rural Australia, children and general public awareness of what soldiering is all about is instilled early at school level. Now without the Khidmat Negara program, less youngsters are aware of defence and security issues. And of course, one can’t blame them for apathy towards men in uniform and their jobs.

  8. N9 “The beauty of HH becoming the new Defense Minister is that:
    1. Malaysia has bigger and better chance to buy more military hardware from China 2. Defence relations between Malaysia and China will improve 3. There’s no more tension between Malaysia and China in the SCS”

    If we just pack up and leave all our possessions in the South China Sea to China, we will also have “no more tension between Malaysia and China in the SCS.” The China trolls are back again. With their treasonous filth but this time they’ve brought along a gross misunderstanding of what the defence minister does.

  9. Taib – “The said public indifference of the Rakyat towards” It’s largely to do with the fact that we’ve never been in a conflict with a state actor (the closest was the Confrontation); have long lived in a relatively benign environment; lack a long military tradition; have never been in a position of military rule or where the military exercises a lot of influence and as a country we have a level of strategic depth, etc.

    Taib – “Australia, children and general public awareness of what soldiering is all about is instilled early at school level”

    Australia takes its defence far more seriously and has a far longer/deeper military heritage: it’s also a member of the “blue eyed” alliance and has to maintain a certain level of capability in order to operate alongside Uncle Sam; a cornerstone of Australian policy. A sharp wake up call was in WW2 following the fall of the region to the Japs leaving Australia extremely exposed.

    Taib – “ do the Defence Ministry have a school program where kids are exposed to what security issues the nation’s concerned about”

    What MINDEF can or can’t do or wants or doesn’t want to do is governed by the overall defence policy we have in place; in turn governed by historical; economic and geo-political factors.

    Taib – “lNow without the Khidmat Negara program, less youngsters are aware of defence and security issues” All due respect but in the very first place did “youngsters” actually have defence/security “awareness” when the programme was up and running?

  10. @Taib
    Not just public apathy but the armed forces rank very low even for the civil service job preference, even below that of PDRM.

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