New envoy Tajuddin a seasoned politician, says Ismail Sabri

Heading to Indonesia: Tajuddin will be replacing Zainal.

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob says that the appointment of Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman as ambassador to Indonesia was agreed by both Malaysia and the republic.

He added that Tajuddin received a letter from Indonesian President Joko Widodo on his new post.

“We (the government) have agreed to the appointment and Indonesia has also agreed to the appointment,” he said here yesterday.

Asked on criticisms over Tajuddin’s appointment as ambassador, Ismail Sabri said some people would not be happy about it.

“Whoever is appointed, there are bound to be those who will not be happy or satisfied. But Tajuddin is a seasoned politician and has vast experience. Let’s just wait for him to carry out his duty as ambassador,” he said.

Tajuddin is expected to report for duty later this month. He will be replacing senior diplomat Datuk Zainal Abidin Bakar who has served as Malaysian ambassador to Indonesia since 2018.

On Nov 9 last year, Tajuddin was spotted accompanying Ismail Sabri on an official trip to Indonesia, fuelling talk that he would be appointed to the position.

News of his appointment however drew criticism from the Opposition, who said that Tajuddin has no diplomatic experience.

In Ipoh, Tajuddin brushed off the criticism over his appointment as Malaysian ambassador to Indonesia.

The Pasir Salak MP said he is waiting for the “right time to comment”.

“I will (comment). But wait for the right time. I will inform you when I fly to Indonesia,” he told The Star when contacted yesterday.

Meanwhile, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad congratulated Tajuddin on his appointment.

“As a Perakian, of course, I’m happy. Tajuddin is from Perak. We believe that the Cabinet had appointed him based on several factors and we are certain that he can represent Malaysia well,” he added.

Another Perak-based politician, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, defended Tajuddin’s appointment, saying that his record as an elected representative for many terms shows that the people are comfortable with him despite past controversies.

“This is about diplomacy and human relations, so I think when it comes to that, we have nothing to worry about, because he has been elected as an assemblyman and MP for many terms.

“Being elected by the people over and over again means that the people are quite comfortable with him.

“If he doesn’t have good communication skills, I don’t think he will get elected so many times and I think he has the relevant experience,” Nazri, a former minister, said.

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