Who Will Be the New Defence Minister?


KD Tun Razak somewhere in the Atlantic. DCNS photo.
KUALA LUMPUR: Its the new year and we are counting the days for the end of the Pak Lah administration. I know many will still believe that Najib wont be PM come next March but thats an issue for another forum.

If everything goes to plan, Najib is set to appoint a new politician to the Jalan Padang Tembak hot seat. Its not a fun job heading Mindef in these lean times. How would you reward loyalty? During this time not much, but Malaysian Defence remembered a politician who was appointed to the hot seat during similar times also faced the same predicament. He did luck out in the end although we were the ones that had to share the burden.

Anyways, the names being bandied about at the moment include Hishammuddin, Muhyiddin and Shafie Afdal. Hishammuddin being the cousin certainly has the edge over the other candidates and that is what being whispered around during cigar parties and golfing holidays.

Being Najib’s close ally in the up-coming Umno elections may well tip the favour to Muhyiddin but if the former Menteri Besar is appointed to Jalan Padang Tembak, what will that say about Hishammuddin? The cousin has largely carried the blame for UMNO’s poor showing during the 2008 General Elections and if he does not make the cut to defence this time, his career is politically over.

Shafie Afdal is the dark horse in the equation. Muhyiddin for example can still be appointed as the Home MInister if the new PM decides he need to have Sabah behind him. Shafie has been the deputy Defence Minister before so he knows his way around (no pun intended).

Malaysian Defence feels that Hishammuddin will get the nod this time around, if it just for the sake of blood is thicker than water. Nonetheless, who over is appointed wont have an easy time. Money is short while ambitions are big. We need a clear revolution of military affairs (something which Najib had said in various occasions but failed to deliver) especially how the politicians managed the issues especially the funds.

With the Malaysian Armed Forces 10-year-long Force Generation Plan is in ruins due to the budget cuts, the new minister will have to tread carefully during this time as to not embarrass the PM. On the first day of his job, Pak Lah embarrassed Najib by deferring the Cougar procurement, setting the tongues wagging.

–Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2223 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Marhalim… Thanks for the great picture of KD Tun Abdul Razak. Very proud to see our first batch submarine with our boys on top of it. Whatever the issue surrounding the purchase of our weapons I wish all the best for our soldiers for the years coming and very much appreciate their sacrife to this great country. Thank you also for you for this great websie. Keep up the good work. Happy new year to all.

  2. Malaysians should be proud of our Armed Forces….we need to change public perception about defense program….recent acts at the Gulf of Aden shown that we have good guys and good assets..

    Malaysian chopper saves Indian tanker from pirates
    Malaysian military helicopter saves Indian tanker from being hijacked in Gulf of Aden

    By VIJAY JOSHI, Associated Press
    Last updated: 3:05 a.m., Thursday, January 1, 2009

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A Malaysian military helicopter saved an Indian tanker from being hijacked Thursday, foiling the new year’s first attack by pirates in the dangerous Gulf of Aden off the chaotic African nation of Somalia, an official said.

    Marhalim: Yes, I saw report. But no official word from Mindef. I guess that they havent got the ROE fully figured out yet. While our boys still got the inherent right of self defence, the diplomats havent figured out who will be responsible should any innocents got hurt in the cross fire.

  3. Marhalim,

    Out of the 3 names you mentioned, I also think the Hisham has the best shot. But Najib may also take back the Mindef seat. I think Mahathir, at one point of time, was also Mindef and PM.

    Anyways, Happy New Year to you and keep this blog going in 2009!

    Marhalim: Doing triple duty when everyone is hankering for a Cabinet position isnt a good thing to do especially with the threat of Anwar hanging over the shoulders. Thanks for the wishes )

  4. Hope last but not least Lim Kit Siang will be Malaysian Defence Minister.. We only can upgrade the old garbage equipment.. hahaha Happy new year

  5. I’m backing MuYa for the task. He’s ambitious and ambitious and ambitious.

    Hello Tan Sri, jangan lupa aku ya…..? LOL

    marhalim: Thats the sound bite I am getting from the DPM people but if he (or anyone else) does make it to Jalan Padang Tembak, it will be the end game (if the current condition persists)

  6. But the man lays on a hell of an open house at Raya so it should not be all bad! My guess is that DPM will want to hold KDN himself so that means MuYa needs to go somewhere. MITI is a sideshow, lucrative yes but a sideshow.

    Shafie is a straw man. He was almost completely invisible during his tenure as Deputy MOD.

    Marhalim: The Tan Sri may well want KDN where there is much more ways to expand his political influence especially outside Johor. At that moment Jalan Padang Tembak is just a floating dead weight, misery loves company. Shafie may not be the brightest in the world but putting him in MINDEF might well be just a good political ploy especially with what happened in the recent Pak Lah Cabinet. Sabah and Sarawak politicians will want rewards for their loyalty. Although they will realise that with the current lack of budget, they might also want to avoid the appointment, leaving Najib with no one else but Hisham for the post

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