SHAH ALAM: Ummo Supreme Council Member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam and Pro-Keadilan Sarawak Chairman Iswardy Morni are among the two names mentioned as potential replacements for Datuk Dr Mohammad Agus Yusoff as the new Community Communications Department (J-Kom) director-general.
Universiti Malaya Department of Political Science, Public Administration, and Development Studies senior lecturer Dr Mohammad Tawfik Yaakub said the position does not necessarily have to be filled by an academic, as that the key role here is for the person to be at the forefront defending the madani government.
When contacted by Sinar Harian, he said that someone who was an academician or a former academic lecturer may not be suitable for the position of J-Kom director-general because they have not been truly tested in facing various pressures, political attacks, and must possess their own strength to defend the current government's policies.
Mohammad Tawfik then said that the individual leading J-Kom should be someone with a strong personality, extensive experience, and an understanding of the current political situation in Malaysia.
"I see the most suitable individual for the position of J-Kom director-general in the context of the current unity government is Lokman because he is always at the forefront and expresses himself through social media to defend the civilian government and the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim after 15th General Election (GE15).
"Moreover, I see Lokman as one of the leaders willing to fight tooth and nail to defend the Unity Government, even though he is harshly criticised and attacked by the opposition parties," he said when contacted by Sinar.
He said this in response following the statement by the spokesperson for the unity government and Communication and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil that Agus had resigned from position following a scandal and that he will be replaced soon.
Further commenting, Tawfik said that an individual appointed as the J-Kom director-general should be able to counter opposition attacks and political propaganda using information obtained from Unity Government parties and relevant government agencies.
He said that Lokman and Iswardy have their own influence and followers on social media, including TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook, making it easier for them to disseminate information to grassroots levels in defending Putrajaya.
"Although they do not have high academic qualifications, including a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), they are qualified to lead J-Kom because they have the strength and their own strategies to refute the arguments of the opposition parties," he said.
Lokman is no stranger to J-Kom where he was a panel thinker in the department for six years prior to his appointment as Strategic Communications Director in the Finance Ministry on Dec 8, 2016. At that time, J-Kom was still known as JASA or Department of Special Affairs. Jasa was rebranded to J-Kom in November 2020.