PETALING JAYA: Shortly after Mohamad Sabu (pic) was named Defence Minister, digitally altered images of the Parti Amanah Negara president began to spread online.
One depicted him as the Hollywood movie character Rambo, underscoring how some people are still getting used to his appointment to such a “macho” Cabinet portfolio.
However, analysts and army veterans said Mat Sabu, as Mohamad is fondly known, could well shine due to his rich experience as a fearless politician imprisoned twice under the Internal Security Act in 1984 and 1987.
Former Transport Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said that while this will be Mohamad’s first stint as a minister, the most important qualities he needs to have for the job are integrity, decisiveness and a willingness to learn.
President of the Armed Forces veterans group Patriot Brig-Gen (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji said Mohamad needs to learn the ropes quickly.
“He has to deal with armed forces and security issues so he must learn very fast,” said Mohamed Arshad.
He said the Amanah president will need good advisers at his ministry to help him make fast decisions.
Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president Tan Sri Muhyiddin who was appointed as Home Minister will meanwhile find it easier to adapt to his new position.
Oh Ei Sun, a former political secretary to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, said Muhyiddin’s previous roles in the top levels of government administration makes him a good choice to run the ministry.
Muhyiddin has served as Johor mentri besar and in various ministerial positions, namely as minister of Youth and Sports; Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs; Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry; International Trade and Industry; Education and as deputy prime minister.