Another Umno leader, Nazri Aziz, also slated to be an ambassador.
Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman has confirmed that he has been invited to Istana Negara to receive his letter of appointment as Malaysia’s ambassador to Indonesia from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong tomorrow.
The post of ambassador to Indonesia has remained vacant since Zainal Abidin Bakar, who was appointed on March 21, 2019, retired on April 4, 2021.
Tajuddin’s appointment had raised eyebrows and invited criticism from several quarters, including MPs, former diplomats, politicians, and civil society.
However, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob defended his appointment, saying that the Umno Supreme Council member was a “seasoned politician and experienced”.
He added that Tajuddin’s appointment had been approved by Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
Tajuddin was previously part of Ismail’s entourage to Indonesia for a three-day official visit last November, leading to speculation that he would be appointed as the Malaysian ambassador to Indonesia.
The Pasir Salak MP was removed from his post as Prasarana Malaysia Berhad chairman in May 2021, just days after his much-criticised press conference over a collision involving two LRT trains.
According to government sources, four other new ambassadors are going to have an audience with Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah in an afternoon session on Monday (June 20).
The other four will purportedly be Malaysia’s ambassadors to Japan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and South Korea.
Aside from Tajuddin, all the others are said to be from the civil service instead of a political party.
Meanwhile, Malaysiakini reported that another Umno leader, Nazri Aziz, is also slated to be an ambassador.
Nazri was previously offered to be Malaysia’s ambassador to Switzerland but reportedly rejected the offer in 2019 as he did not want to lose his MP seat, according to Free Malaysia Today.
Europe does not allow a sitting MP to be an ambassador.