Shadow Defence Minister

Ikmal Hisham receiving a momento from CDF TS Affendi Buang in March 17, 2020 during his first stint as the deputy defence minister. MAF

SHAH ALAM: Tanah Merah MP Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz has been named as the shadow Defence Minister by Perikatan Nasional (PN) yesterday. Ikmal was the deputy defence minister in both the Muhyiddin Yassin and Ismail Sabri governments. The Bersatu party man served as deputies to both Ismail and DS Hishammuddin Hussein.

According to PN chairman TS Muhyiddin Yassin the 26-MP committee is led by opposition leader, DS Hamzah Zainuddin. Muhyiddin is the ‘head’ or prime minister of this structure.

Pas president TS Abdul Hadi Awang was named as deputy prime minister with the Hamzah as the parliamentary leader.

Others in the committee include Putrajaya MP Dr Radzi Jidin (Finance), Kota Baru MP DS Takiyuddin Hassan as Home Minister, Arau MP DS Shahidan Kassim (Rural Development and Territory Ministry).and Indera Mahkota MP DS Saifuddin Abdullah (Education and Higher Education).

Muhyiddin said the 26 MPs chosen for the respective portfolios had the necessary skills and experienced required,and would ensure that PN can become an effective Opposition in Parliament.

The former prime minister also said PN will continue to push its “Wawasan Kemakmuran Bersama” (Shared Prosperity Vision) agenda that he had come up with when he led the government in March 2020.

He said the core vision of the shared prosperity agenda went beyond the issue of race and religion and looked at the distribution of the nation’s wealth.

“Today we return home to the policy and core of the country’s development in the future,” he said. Muhyiddin said PN would issue policy statements on both local and international matters, and these will be on things like the economy, defence, and security. These issues will also be presented in Parliament so that people will understand them better.

“PN has also established an expert research team to help our MPs increase their knowledge and expertise in their respective fields,” he added.

It is likely that Ikmal will be working with Ketereh MP Khlir Mohd Nor, who retired from the Army several years back as a Mejar General. His last position was as the Chief of Staff.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam


  1. However bad the political situation looks like right now, this is actually a historical moment for the country as this is the first time in Malaysian history that we have an official shadow government from the opposition.

    Having a shadow minister means that there is a dedicated person to counter any issues from the MINDEF and MENHAN.

    I am looking forward for Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham to
    – have a reply to any issues that is related to defence
    – to give support to TUDM, TLDM & TD if their concerns are not heard by MINDEF and MENHAN
    – give alternative solutions, ideas, plans to current problems related to defence such as LCS Gowind, EEZ security, future plans.

  2. Wong – “that there is a dedicated person to counter any issues from the MINDEF and MENHAN”

    The right questions have to be asked. If they’re not then it’s just cosmetics. No benefit in “countering” anything if the right questions are not asked.

    If you remember back in 2013 the then opposition formed a Defence Advisory Committee to deal with defence issues – turned out to be as useful as donkey shite. Was launched with fanfare but nothing came out of it.

    Wong – “looking forward for Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham to”

    I hope the excitement and enthusiasm you harbour over this exercise will be fruitful. I’m not “looking forward” to anything yet as it involves politicians who are clueless over many things and are merely out to score political brownie points.

    Questioning and scrutinising authority is great but the right questions and issues have to be asked/raised; based on an apolitical and well understood assessment of the subject.

  3. If not mistaken, they aren’t calling it a Shadow Cabinet, but rather a committee of watchdogs. A shadow cabinet does more than that, having alternative roles, different emphasis to policies in place, alternative solutions to issues tackled by the ruling govt, and basically one that would be ready to take over when it falls. It is definitely moving in the right direction but its not as historical moment as some puts it.

  4. It would be more useful to use existing powers such as the PAC instead of forming a shadow cabinet. The opposition party now sets the PAC agenda. The PAC can cause havoc when wielded properly. But, to make the PAC effective requires hard work. If the opposition cannot run the PAC effectively, what’s the chance of a shadow cabinet that has no powers doing anything useful? Also it didn’t require a shadow minister to blow up the LCS and RM800m SPH cases. Just need someone that is willing to put in the hard work.

  5. Kel,

    In mature democracies, the opposition will form a shadow cabinet as dedicated PICs for check and balance in the parliment. It has nothing to do with the government of the day, and will not be paid for by the government, unlike PAC.

    Check UK, Aussie, New Zealand opposition among others; shadow cabinet is a norm for them

    If there is a discussion about security and defence at the parliament, the shadow minister should be the one that has all the right questions and informations to probe the government.

  6. Kel – “It would be more useful to use existing powers such as the PAC instead of forming a shadow cabinet”

    Nonsense …

    A shadow government and a PAC are two different things for two different purposes.

    Kel – “the PAC can cause havoc”

    It’s role is not to cause “havoc”‘

    Kel – “Also it didn’t require a shadow minister to blow up”

    Take the time to understand what a shadow government is really intended to do..

    I personally think in our context it’s a cosmetic move and useful as donkey shite because of reasons I’ve alluded to but a shadow government when functions as intended has a role to play.

  7. Hence why i said better to use existing powers. Do not paraphrase and change the meaning to your liking. Shadow cabinet only as good as the shadow ministers. If they are useless then better to make use of the PAC. Where the chairman since 2018 has always been rhe opposition party. Do not paraphrase and change the meaning.

  8. Kel – “Do not paraphrase and change the meaning to your liking”

    I didn’t … But I will explain again if you’re unable to fathom what I meant…

    Kel – “Do not paraphrase and change”

    I didn’t. What I said is that a shadow government and a PAC are different things : both serve a different role and hardly can be compared as you have done. For one a shadow government is partisan unlike a PAC and is only formed after shite has hit the fan.

    Before claiming others have ”
    paraphrase and change the meaning to your liking” first look at what you said … I would assume aware of what you said and I’m responding to the same person…

    Kel – “Shadow cabinet only as good as the shadow ministers”

    More nonsense…

    It’s “only as good” if the raise the right questions in the right manner for the right intended result…

  9. To digress, remember that a PAC also absolved 1MDB of any impropriety and no wrongdoing found ya.

  10. 1MDB was absolved by a PAC led by the same party as the sitting government. Its membership was very partisan. For obvious reasons the committee will absolve the sitting government of any wrong doing. Prior to GE14, the PAC was seen as not fulfilling its responsibilities. After GE14 the PH government gave the chairmanship to the opposition as a means of ensuring more effective and independent checks on the government. This has been continued with the PH taking back the chairmanship after the change in government, and now after GE15, being given back to the opposition (PN will chair and lead the PAC). When PH took over the PAC chairmanship, they ensured the membership was bi-partisan. Whether the PN opposition will do it is up to them. They can make it very partisan or bi-partisan. The PAC can do a lot of damage and havoc on because it is a committee created by an act of parliament that that has the power to compel a person to testify before it. Anyone making false statements can be charged in court. I think it is possible for the PAC to conduct hearings on the DWP since the DWP is a parliamentary approved document. Admirals and Generals invited to the hearings would get the protection provided by the PAC when giving testimony.

  11. You can spin it all you want but as has been clearly explained to uyou; a PAC and a shadow government are two different things intended for different purposes; yet here you are conflating both and claiming that one is better than the other.

    Again; if a shadow government does ask the right questions [it first has to know what and how to ask] then it will be an effective platform to srutinise and question authority. A PAC is for something completely different…..

  12. Kel,
    A Shadow Cabinet if properly set up does more than a PAC. Their members are supposed to support the respective ministries if the policies are right, ,and counter any unjustified or blurry shenanigans of the sitting minister and his ministry. They have to know what’s going on respectively. That’s it. A PAC if just a Disciplinary Board or Audit Bi-monthly if you like. Different. * Like an Ombudsman Office in the Philippines.

  13. Taib – ”A Shadow Cabinet if properly set up does more than a PAC.”

    Indeed but I’m not as sanguine given the political situation and the type of politicians we have. In 2013 the then opposition set up the ”People’s Security Advisory Council” headed by an ex Army Chief [the first 10 Para CO]; it accomplished nothing and was a purely cosmetic undertaking. A shadow government has to ask the right questions but first they need to know what to ask and how to ask them.

    kel – ”Like an Ombudsman Office in the Philippines.”

    Which can and does carry a lot of weight.

  14. It didn’t work because the then BN government had a strong majority. Furthermore, a non-MP – the ex-Army chief – headed the council. Losing the MP seat – Johor Bharu – clearly undermine his authority to speak on anything, whatever his previous experience. And being a soldier first, he was reluctant to say anything substantial during the Lahad Datu incursion. Any how a bigger thing soon came into the picture – 1MDB.

  15. Yes, he did make comments but in the end it didn’t matter. I think it was set up as parting reward for the retired general. It did give the impression to others that it was a good thing to align with the opposition, which was likely the intention, anyway.

  16. @Kel
    “Its membership was very partisan.”
    Nope. Its members included then Opposition MPs, and all parties signed off the final report before it can be released which meant they given their consent to the findings that did not found anything then, while subsequent investigation (by the PH Govt) pointedly found irregularities. This goes to highlight that any Govt inquiries can choose to find anything or choose to find nothing, depending on whom in charge and who got charged.

    So goes back to how can a PAC be relied as a watchdog unlike a true Shadow Govt/Cabinet, not that I am saying the PN proposal is such. Furthermore a PAC is ad hoc specifically meant to a particular case/cases.

  17. PAC is to check whether things already procured or set up according to the plan, used the right methods and procedures and then give its opinion on what had happened good or bad

  18. hulubalang,

    It’s amazing how much effort some put in discussing things which are pretty well known and mundane; as well as claiming one’s better than the other or has more utility.

    Yes a PAC is intended to be a non partisan body which is set up after shite has hit the fan and a shadow government is intended to provide a check and balance [if it does it’s job right and knows what to ask – I’ve no faith in our politicians] by questioning and srutinising authority – two completely dffrent things.

    Lets see in the coming months if this shadow government is all it’s made out to be or is just another political gimmick.

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