KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 12 – The Minister With Special Functions at the Prime Minister’s Department was necessary due to the current landscape of the country, said Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein. Hishammuddin, who was appointed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak to the portfolio yesterday said the position was a pro-active move by Putrajaya to continue serving the people.
“I am very honored by the appointment, and InsyaAllah I will carryout the responsibility well. I will discuss with the Prime Minister about what needs to be done. This appointment will also pave a way for me to help Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and divide the tasks to help and support the Prime Minister’s leadership,” Hishammuddin told the media after a courtesy call from the Muslim World League Secretary General Dr Muhammad Abdul Kareem Al-Issa at the Defence Ministry here.
Earlier, Najib announced in a statement that Hishammuddin has been appointed as the Minister With Special Functions at the Prime Minister’s Department. Najib added the appointment will allow Hishammuddin to execute his duty apart from his responsibilities as the Defence Minister. Hishammuddin warned detractors, including PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli not to spread rumors and speculate about the appointment, instead he wants people to look at the issue as a way to “move forward”.
“The shouldn’t be speculation no one should try to pit us against each other as Ahmad Zahid has also come out with a statement that he agrees with the appointment. Earlier, an online portal reported that Rafizi predicted Hishamuddin’s appointment was not good for Ahmad Zahid’s political ambitions.
Meanwhile, Hishammuddin said the meeting with Muhammad had agreed that Malaysia and Saudi Arabia will combat terrorism and radicalism through a combination ideologies, building counter narratives, trust and intervention. Muhammad, who is also the adviser to Saudi Arabia’s King, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud said the efforts to form the King Salman Centre for International Peace (KSCIP) must be sped up.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid in his statement, expressed support for Hishammuddin over his appointment. “I support the new portfolio assigned to assist the Prime Minister in issions and special tasks to strengthen bilateral relations (with other countries) and also specific tasks that will lead to the smooth administration of the government,” he said. Ahmad Zahid said the appointment was spot on and expressed confidence that Hishammuddin would be up to the task.