KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Defence wishes to stay out of politics but the question needed to be asked. The word from Mindef before the election was that Datuk Seri Najib would not be re-appointed as Defence Minister this time around.
With the outcome of the 12th General Election still being digested, the word around town remained that Najib would take over as Home Minister apart from carrying out his duties as the DPM. With that in mind, who will be taking over the hot seat in MINDEF.
The obvious candidate is of course Datuk Seri Hishammuddin, the current Education Minister, if we go by tradition. Another possible candidate is former Najib’s deputy Datuk Shafie Afdal, who was the only deputy with real responsibility while in office. It must be said that Shafie’s tenure as Minister was less gratifying compared to the time when he was a deputy.
Former air force pilot, Datuk Zulhasnan, the sole BN winner in Kuala Lumpur (Putrajaya and Labuan excluded) could be seen as the third alternative (another logical choice) for Pak Lah to consider. Being a former serviceman, Zulhasnan credentials would fit the job to a T but it remained to be seen whether he could rise above the old MINDEF ministerial style.
One, however, must not forget KJ, the PM’s famous and infamous , son-in-law. If the GE result have been the other way around, I would say that KJ is the obvious choice to replace Najib as he seeks to consolidate his position in UMNO but in the aftermath of the big losses, I doubt Pak Lah would place his son-in-law in such a powerful position.
So who will it be, if Najib is not reappointed? The smart money will say Hishammuddin but do not count Shafie, Zulhasnan and even KJ out of the running.
Malaysian Defence choice? None of the above of course.
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Hishamuddin has made a mess of every ministry he’s been to. He was utterly appalling in Youth & Sports and his tenure at Education has been most inglorious. If he goes to Kementah, expect to see the procurement and administration of the forces go to hell in a handbasket.
I’d like to see KJ in the post, just for giggles. I’ve long advocated that the Army employ the ubiquitous kapchai as a mount for light recon. The 4-strokes don’t even have the signature put-put sound of the old oil burners even. Plus, everyone knows how to use one, they’re frugal as all hell and as the roti-man has shown, you can even haul heavy weapons. With this, we can draft all the Mat Rempit into the Army where they will get discipline and learn valuable skills. After 10 hours a day in the saddle, they will want nothing but to get off their moto and walk…..
It appears that the political tsunami has also washed away any major tinkering in the top two positions. Najib is retained as Defence Minister with a deputy who is there just to fill the post……oh well…
Plus ca change as they say…….