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 DefenceIf you like this post, buy me an espresso. Paypal Payment