SHAH ALAM: Ministry of International Trade and Industry secretary-general DS Isham Ishak, 53, has been appointed as the new Defence Ministry secretary-general, effective on September 26, Chief Secretary to the Government TS Zuki Ali said in a statement released today. The statement also announced the appointments of three other secretary-generals.
Isham replaced DS Muez Abd Aziz who retired on May 31. This will be the fourth ministry, Isham had served as the secretary-general as he had served in the same positions in Transport and Tourism, Arts and Culture ministries.
Isham biography as published by Sinar Project website:
Born in Johor in 1970, Datuk Isham successfully assisted Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in Malaysia while serving as the Chief
Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer at SME Corporation Malaysia, an agency under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry from 2014 to 2016.
Datuk Isham also served for 5 years in the United States, from 2006 to 2011, as Minister Counsellor (Economics) at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry Office in Washington D.C. where he successfully increased the flow of investments between both countries. He has also served as Special Officer and Senior Private Secretary to the Minister of International Trade and Industry and the fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Datuk Isham was appointed as Malaysia’s Chief Negotiator for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (RCEP) from 2016 to 2018. He was also Malaysia’s Deputy Chief Negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) – later known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – from 2011 to 2015.
He started serving as the Secretary General of the Ministry of Transport Malaysia in 2019. He previously held the positions of Secretary General of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Deputy Secretary General (Trade) and later Secretary General of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.
Based on the biography, Isham clearly fits the role at Jalan Padang Tembak. Someone who is familiar with trade and industry especially with the changes being sought by PMX on the procurement side.
Whether it will happen is beyond me but as I mentioned in another post if other changes are not done, all of this will be in vain. Isham will also have to ensure the ministry’s interest are taken care off with the nationalisation of the LCS project. Perhaps, he will also oversee the nationalisation of other defence related companies.
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