New Defence Minister 2023

DS Khaled Nordin. 21st Defence Minister. Parlimen Malaysia picture.

SHAH ALAM: Kota Tinggi MP and former Higher Education Minister, DS Khaled Nordin, 65, has been appointed as the 21st Defence Minister today (December 12 2023). He replaces DSU Mohamad Hasan, the Rembau MP who is now the Foreign Minister, part of the reshuffle of the PMX Cabinet. Mohamad was appointed to the Jalan Padang Tembak hot seat, one year ago.

Deputy Defence Minister Adly Zahari remains in the position.

Khaled’s biodata from Wikipedia:

Mohamed Khaled bin Nordin (Jawi: محمد خالد بن نورالدين; born 30 November 1958) is a Malaysian politician who has served as the Minister of Higher Education for the second term in Unity Government administration under Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim since December 2022 and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kota Tinggi since November 2022.

He served as the 15th Menteri Besar of Johor from May 2013 to May 2018, Deputy Minister of Works, Minister of Entrepreneur and Co-operatives Development and his first term as Minister of Higher Education in the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration under former Prime Ministers Mahathir Mohamad, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib Razak from 1999 to 2013, MP for Johor Bahru from October 1990 to March 2004 and for Pasir Gudang from March 2004 to May 2013, Member of the Johor State Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Permas from May 2013 to May 2018 and Non-independent and Non-executive Chairman of the Boustead Holdings from May 2020 to his resignation in August 2021.

He also served as Chairman of the Johor Corporation Berhad. He is a member of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), a component party of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition. He has served as the Vice President of UMNO since June 2018. He also served as the State Chairman of UMNO of Johor from January to December 2023.

It is interesting to note that he had served as a non-independent and non-executive chairman of Boustead Holdings Bhd from May 2020 to August 2021. The full nationalisation of Boustead Naval Shipyard is still on-going.

I think PMX should have allowed Tok Mat to be at Kementerian Pertahanan, a bit longer as he was appointed to the post in December last year (and the fourth Defence Minister since May 2018). I believed the change is part of the power play in UMNO and not an indictment of his time in the ministry. That said he had not much competition from his three predecessors. Khaled will have a harder time though.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam


  1. Tok mat is now the foreign minister.

    I wonder why is the change done? Tok mat not ideal for MENHAN post, or is he needed more for foreign minister post?

    The irony of an ex chairman of Boustead Holdings now being the new MENHAN

  2. oersonal belief, Tok Mat now is seen as a more senior/influential member of the political grouping, thus should be given a more “glamourous role” in the cabinet than the Defence Ministry


    Tok mat is one of the better minister in PHBN and pmx replaced him with a former bousted man

  4. He cant cut them loose or else loose his job but its eating his reputation like a cancer. Too focused on getting the chalice finally too late to realised it was poisoned.

  5. What in the world is the PM thinking appointing a past Boustead chairman to become the new Defence Minister???

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