MP calls for Hisham to prove his innocence in Ops Yemen 2 or be removed from helming Defence Ministry

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Tanjong Malim member of Parliament Chang Lih Kang has demanded Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein be removed from helming the Defence Ministry unless he proves his innocence with regards to Ops Yemen 2.

Chang, in a statement today said Hishammuddin had gone against Malaysia’s foreign policy of non-interference by sending troops to Riyadh during Ops Yemen 2 in 2015 without the cabinet’s directive.

“Malaysian troops were deployed to assist Saudi Arabia in its military operations in Yemen.

“According to an official reply in parliament by Defence Ministry, Ops Yemen 2 did not get an initiating directive from the cabinet. The ministry also confirmed that our Armed Forces were involved in logistical operations carrying ammunition, spare parts and explosives for the Arab Alliance.

“In short, the Malaysian troops were involved in “combatant activities” without a mandate from the United Nations and knowledge of the cabinet.

“This is a matter that should be seriously looked into, as the reckless decision had risked our soldiers’ lives,” he said.

Chang, who was also a former member of the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on Defence and Home Affairs, reiterated his calls to investigate Ops Yemen 2 and take stern action against those responsible.

“Meanwhile, Hishammuddin should be dropped from helming the Defence Ministry and stay away from defence matters, unless and until he proves his innocence in the controversial Ops Yemen 2,” he said.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob unveiled his much-anticipated Cabinet line-up that comprised four senior ministers, 27 full ministers and 38 deputy ministers.

Chang, however, said he was disappointed with the new Cabinet because former ministers with poor performance records have been re-elected to helm the same ministries once again.

“We understand there are limited choices for Ismail Sabri since he is choosing ministers from the same pool of candidates that Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had.

“However, there is no sign of downsizing the cabinet, as many would have expected.

“Worse still, ministers with awful track records are being appointed to the very same positions they were holding in the previous cabinet.

“For instance, Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin had both failed miserably in managing their ministries during the pandemic.

“But both of them are back to their respective ministries as senior ministers.

“Another minister who had invited numerous criticisms during her tenure was Datuk Seri Rina Harun. Unfortunately, she is being restored to the very same Women, Family and Community Development Ministry,” he said.

The new Cabinet under Ismail Sabri’s leadership is expected to be sworn in on Monday. – NST