Newly appointed Prime Minister Dato Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak had just named its new cabinet that is expected to play a crucial role in shaping the future of the nation. Dubbed as ‘Team Malaysia’, Najib said, “the new cabinet is not only a new team with a new face, but also a new approach to administering the country better in a more responsible and transparent manner that focuses in the people”.
The concern of most Malaysians has been the prevalence of corruption, and the role of cronies and family members in business and the affairs of government, that pervades the Abdullah administration; a repeat of which Najib has to avoid in his new administration. Tun Dr. Mahathir, a severe critic of former PM Tun Abdullah, had remarked that the new cabinet seems to be clean, with some notable ministers that are known to be corrupt have not been listed.
To all Malaysians, let us give the new Prime Minister and his cabinet a chance to make good their pledges. And in this trying period of the global economic downturn, it is incumbent upon us to support any course that the government takes, that is deemed beneficial to the nation and its people. To criticized the government now will not be just and fair, and Najib will need the unequivocal support of the people to realize his pledge of a one Malaysia.
The Armed Forces too in the coming months will also see a change in its leadership; though not through an election of any kind. I am told that the Chief of Defence Force (CDF) is due for retirement, and the post is likely to be taken up by either one of the present serving service chiefs. Since the post was created, the CDF has been dominated by the army, and only once held by the navy.
The British, and similarly the Australian Armed Forces, I believe appoints the CDF on a rotational basis. The MAF recognizes that the post of CDF is a tri- service post; meaning that it can be held by either one of the service chief i.e. army, navy of air force chief, and supposedly on a rotational basis. However, in practice, this does not seem to be so, and I am also made to believe that the final selection to the post will eventually be decided by the political masters.
There has been some argument from among the three services in the past, with regards to the rightful appointment of the CDF. The army would claim that the post is rightfully theirs since the army constitutes the largest of the three services. The other two services i.e. navy and air force will likewise say that numerical strength alone are no longer the criterion. The high value assets and technological sophistication of the equipments held by a modern air force and navy that requires precise management, raises greater importance against just the numerical strength of the army.
The other argument that the war of today will not be fought by just one particular service, but will be joint in nature i.e. the combined forces of the army, navy and air force. And this gives greater justification that the CDF can be from either one of the three service chief, and certainly not predominantly from the army.
I am told that there is no clear succession to the post of the CDF today, because the current Army and Air Force chiefs are also expected to retire, at about the same time as the CDF. That leaves the Navy chief, but they say that he lacks the seniority as the chief.
And assuming that either the Army or Air Force chief is appointed, their service will have to be extended pass their official retirement age i.e. 58 years. And if this is the choice of the government, who then will be chosen from among the two……army or air force chief? Or will it be the Navy chief despite his lack of seniority? We will have to leave the final choice of the new CDF to the new Defence Minister, YB Dato Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION
Posted at 7 pm on April 10, 2009