Political move or democratic process? Analyst clarifies Tok Mat's transfer motives

25 Dec 2023 10:30am
Mohamad Hasan - FILE PIX
Mohamad Hasan - FILE PIX

SHAH ALAM - A political analyst stresses that the role of a Foreign Minister goes beyond international relations, involving crucial aspects of unilateral and multilateral affairs concerning the country.

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman's senior lecturer and political science Afi Roshezry Abu Bakar commented on the recent Cabinet shake-up, specifically the transfer of Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan from Defence to the Foreign Ministry.

Beyond international relations

Afi said that this move should not be taken lightly, highlighting its significance for Mohamad's personal development and future exploration into other portfolios.

"This is a very good step for Tok Mat (Mohamad) to strengthen himself before exploring into other portfolios in the future.

"There's no need for the people or political opponents to look at the transfer from one angle only," Afi told Sinar Daily when contacted.

Strengthening capabilities

For Mohamad, Afi said he saw this transition as an opportunity to hone his skills and broaden his political horizons.

Related Articles:

Having navigated the intricacies of defence, he can now leverage his experience to build international connections and advance Malaysia's interests on the global stage.

Afi further pointed to Mohamad's prior positions as Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar and a successful entrepreneur, highlighting his well-rounded background as an asset in this demanding role.

Critics of the unity government have expressed disagreement with the transfer, claiming that the decision benefitted Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Some have suggested that the move aimed to weaken Mohamad's position in Umno.

Afi countered these claims, stating that he did not see the portfolio exchange as an organised effort to sideline or distance Mohamad from mainstream politics and Umno.

"The Cabinet reshuffle was a normal part of the democratic process, aimed at empowering the recently tabled Budget 2023.

"The purpose of the Cabinet reshuffle was to empower the Budget 2023 tabled recently.

"This is a normal democracy process and has nothing to do with political assassination or a political move," Afi said.

He also stressed that the Prime Minister has the final say in making decisions for the government and that the focus should be on materialising Budget 2023.

Mohamad was among several Umno leaders reassigned to new portfolios, with Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin taking over the defence portfolio and former Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir taking over from Khaled.