I wish to make a bold prediction to an article that I posted concerning the change in the army leadership following the retirement of the Chief of Army (COA) in September this year. Assuming that the COA decides to proceed on a three months resettlement course, this would mean that the post will be vacant around the month of June. In making this prediction and choice, I have taken into account the comments from my readers, as well as the numerous calls that I received from serving officers and from those who have retired.
My prediction and choice of the best officers (based on the list in my posting) to lead the army in the near future would be as follows:
1. Chief of Army - Lt Jen Dato Pahlawan Hj. Zulkifli bin Hj. Zainal Abidin who is currently the Vice Chancellor, National Defence University of Malaysia (NDUM).
2. Deputy Chief of Army - Lt Jen Dato Ahmad Hasbullah bin Nawawi who is currently the Commander Army Field Command.
In order for the above to be implemented, it is necessary that Lt Jen Dato Pahlawan Hj. Zulkifli bin Hj. Zainal Abidin be appointed the Deputy COA upon the incumbent i.e. Jen Dato Zulkifli Mat Zain assumes the post of COA.
Should army feels that the service of Lt Jen Dato Pahawan Hj. Zulkifli is still needed at NDUM, then the post of Deputy COA can be given to Lt Jen Dato Ahmad Hasbulllah, and whereupon the retirement of Jen Zulkifli Mat Zain (new COA) expected in 2012, the post of COA can then be taken up by Lt Jen Dato Pahlawan Hj. Zulkifli (upon being promoted to full General).
There is already a precedence whereby the post of the COA need not necessarily be taken up by the Deputy COA. In 1994, the Chief of Staff Armed Forces Headquarters, Lt Jen Dato Ismail Omar was promoted to a full General to assume the post of COA, taking over from Jeneral Tan Sri Borhan Ahmad, without the former being the Deputy COA. Since a precedence has been set, it is therefore not abnormal for the same to occur, in the case of Lt Jen Dato Pahlawan Hj. Zulkifli.
This prediction does not leave Lt Jen Dato Ahmad Hasbullah out of the race, and since he is a few years younger than Lt Jen Dato Pahlawan Hj. Zulkifli, the former can still be made the COA upon the retirement of the latter.
I invite comments from my readers to my prediction and choice as to who should lead the army in the not too distant future. I believe that there will be changes for the better for the army if this prediction is to occur.
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