Hishammuddin Hussein, the former Defence Minister, was on the right track to become Malaysia’s 7th Prime Minister when the unexpected happened on May 9th this year. His cousin who was also the former premier, scandal-plagued Prime Minister Najib Razak, was booted from the powerful post by the people who had had enough of the same government for 61 years.
For more than 10 years, Mr. Hishammuddin, the son of the country’s third prime minister, was best remembered as the then-ruling UMNO warlord who took to the stage waving “keris (Malay dagger)”. The display of the weapon was a sign understood to mean second-class citizen non-Malay should and must “kowtow” to the supremacy of UMNO-Malay.
Like Mr. Najib, whose father was the country’s second prime minister, Hishammuddin would continue one of Malaysia’s oldest political dynasties. Despite complaints that the gesture of dagger-waving had made Malaysia’s minority races feel uncomfortable, Mr. Hishammuddin unleashed the “keris” for the fourth year in 2009. Arrogantly, he even kissed the dagger in defiance.
But 2009 was also the year Hishammuddin retired his famous “keris”. A year earlier, the 2008 general election saw the UMNO-led coalition deserted by ethnic Chinese and Indians. It marked the first time since the 1969 election that the Barisan Nasional coalition did not win a two-thirds supermajority in the Malaysian Parliament required to pass amendments to the Malaysian Constitution.
Hishammuddin became one of UMNO’s three vice-presidents since March 2009, until the defeat of the long ruling government under his cousin Najib’s leadership in May 2018. His future looked very promising and his rise seemed unstoppable. His leadership in the 2013 Lahad Datu invasion by militants from the Philippines was, however, a great disappointment.
Like his cousin Najib, the man born with a silver spoon had underestimated the seriousness of the incursion. The 235 militants, labelled by Home Minister Hishammuddin as old and malnourished intruders who wore sarongs and slipper with very few arms, humiliated the braggart and inexperienced minister when 6 civilians and 10 Malaysian security forces were killed.
Sending a boy to do a man’s job was a disaster. Had the boy scout Hishammuddin acted professionally and leave the military to do their job, the threat of the Philippines militants would not have had been misread. The poor soldiers, police and civilians might not have died in vain. Both Armed Forces Chief Gen Zulkifeli Mohd Zin and Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar were a joke too.
It would take a few days after the intruders were sighted on Malaysian shores before Malaysia security forces could establish the Sulu militants’ identity and intention. It was when the intruders had flown their flag to challenge the country’s sovereignty that Hishammuddin realized the drama was actually an invasion. Even then, he was super optimistic of overpowering the militants.
Ever since the country’s independence in 1957, until May 19th, 2018, the Malaysian Armed Forces knew only UMNO as the government of the day. The supremacy of UMNO party was hammered into the head of every military personnel, so much so that empty vessel like Hishammuddin was seen as Kim Jong-un, whose opinion and instruction was taken as religious sacred texts.
So, when the new Defence Minister Mat Sabu revealed that only four out of RMAF’s 28 Russian fighter jets can fly, not a single general or chief of the military branches – Army, Air Force, and Navy – was surprised with the embarrassing revelation. None was offended that the military forces have been reduced to such a pariah state under previous incompetent and corrupt UMNO leaders.
The Malaysian Armed Forces were in such a deplorable situation that former Hishammuddin Hussein continued to enjoy military protection even after the previous UMNO-led government collapsed more than 3 months ago. Apparently, two Navy special operations force (Paskal) officers and a commando were still working as escorts for Mr. Hishammuddin.
When caught with his pants down, Hishammudin, like his serial liar cousin Najib, claims that the military bodyguards were part of his security detail for a “temporary period”. In what appears to be an afterthought response, he has also claimed that the three Armed Forces personnel have been given offers of employment. He didn’t specify when he offered the employment though.
However, according to Hishammuddin Hussein, if the three accept his so-called offers, they must resign from the Armed Forces with immediate effect. The disgraceful ex-defence minister, amusingly, could not explain why the three military bodyguards were drawing salaries from Defence Forces as well as from him, if indeed there were job offers in the first place.
Obviously, there has been abuse of power in the scandal. Make no mistake about it. Had the misused of military resources not exposed publicly, Mr. Hishammuddin would most likely keep quiet and continue enjoying the military escorts despite the fact he was no longer holding the defence ministry portfolio following Barisan Nasional’s defeat in the 14th general election.
The simple fact that the three military bodyguards were getting two salaries from different employers is sufficient to be court martialled. Even if it’s not treasonous, it’s a blatant disloyalty to the Agong (King) and a national security threat. A public servant or private employee caught working for two employers at the same time will certainly be fired, sued or blacklisted.
But the three military personnel would not dare go against the rules of the Armed Forces unless their immediate commanding officers, and higher up the chain of command, approved such despicable act. It isn’t that difficult to see how the entire military forces were corrupted and abused by the tentacles of UMNO after 61 years of indoctrination – the UMNO Supremacy.
Just weeks before the nationwide election, Armed Forces Chief Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor had urged both the troops and police to be grateful and loyal to the government led by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak. Yes, that scumbag general could not care less about the Agong (King) but instead had indulged in politics and sucked up to Thief-in-Chief Najib.
Hishammuddin has already admitted that the three military bodyguards were indeed working for him (while sucking another pay-check from the taxpayers). The burning question is how wide the scope of abuse of power is within the Malaysian Armed Forces. It doesn’t make sense that nobody within the military forces realize three of their colleagues have not been punching for work.
If the three military bodyguards could freely conduct their own business without giving two hoots about existing rules such as Armed Forces Act 1972, then perhaps it’s alright to sell military assets to earn extra monthly income. As a former defence minister, Hishammuddin knew about the rules and protocols but broke them anyway. He should at least be charged for abuse of power.
Source : Finance Twitter