Politics Translation

Who is Hamzah Zainudin, the man accused of giving Muhyiddin bad advice?

(Artikel asal ditulis dalam BM oleh rakan kami di SOSCILI. Sila klik sini untuk baca!)

 

 

So, Muhyiddin Yassin has been the Prime Minister for about seven months now, and he’s made various decisions throughout his tenure – some lauded, some… not so much. The most recent one was the famous call to get Malaysia into an emergency state but, as you may have already known, it kinda failed when the YDPA decided to reject the motion.

But you may be thinking, who daheck came up with such an idea to turn Malaysia into a state of emergency anyways? Well, just recently, fingers were pointed to two people – Senior Minister, Azmin Ali and Home Affairs Minister, Hamzah Zainuddin.

Screenshot from Malay Mail

According to Senator Liew Chin Tong, Muhyiddin might be getting the support of political opponents if he were to remove Azmin and Hamzah from the Cabinet.

“To smooth the process, Muhyiddin should also consider offering the heads of Hamzah Zainudin and Azmin Ali, in exchange for the goodwill of all parties across the aisle to move forward in a bipartisan manner.” – DAP strategist, Liew Chin Tong, as quoted by Malay Mail.

And aside from allegedly coming up with the idea of declaring Malaysia as the state of emergency, Azmin and Hamzah were also repeatedly accused of being the prime movers of the ‘Sheraton Move’. In fact, several other politicians were also accusing Hamzah for giving ill advise to Muhyiddin.

But who is this guy anyway?

 

Hamzah spent decades in the corporate world before finally entering politics

Meet Hamzah Zainuddin. Img from Astro Awani

Hamzah’s political journey seem pretty normal as compared to some other politicians. Hamzah, who holds a Diploma in Quantity Surveying from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, started his career as a General Manager at Maju Bangun Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary company under the Perak State Development Corporation from 1980 to 1987. Hamzah was said to have gained a wide knowledge in property development while working at Maju Bangun.

In 1989, Hamzah ventured into private companies such as the Evermaster Group Bhd, Hexagon Holdings Bhd and LFE Corporation Bhd, among many others. Hamzah was also elected as the Chairman of Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (FELCRA), where he served in the position from 2000 to 2006.

Whilst holding all these positions, Hamzah also held several positions in the cabinet since 1987 when he became the member of the Ipoh City Council board. But his political career only escalated in 2008 when he won a seat in Larut under UMNO. Since then, he has been maintaining his position as the Larut MP til today.

Hamzah with the people of Sungai Bayor, Perak. Img by Nor Raidah Awang from Berita Harian

He also held several ministerial positions like the Housing and Local Governing Deputy Minister, Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister and currently the Home Affairs Minister. As we mentioned earlier, his political career is pretty normal la.

But even as a person with a pretty normal political journey, Hamzah seems to be attracting people’s attention with several scandalous incidents such as when…

 

He accused Anwar of seducing his glamorous new wife o_O

One of the scandalous incidents that made Hamzah somewhat famous was when he was asked to pay his divorced first wife, Nooraini Rashid, a whopping RM11.2 million settlement that shocked the whole nation in 2004. Hamzah was asked to pay this amount in cash and assets like shares, cars and land.

The reason for this? Well, it was because he decided to divorce his wife of 22 years to marry a 25 year old woman. However, this case didn’t end well for Nooraini as the Syariah Appeals Court decided allowed Hamzah’s appeal to not pay his ex-wife that amount of money – either in cash or even in assets.

Hamzah (left) and his lawyer left the court with Colgate smiles. Img from The Star

As if that’s not shocking enough, Hamzah was in the limelight again when he accused his bff, Anwar Ibrahim of seducing his new ‘glamorous’ wife in 1999. Although the incident allegedly happened in 1999, Hamzah only mentioned it in 2008 during the Permatang Pauh by-election, which eventually saw Anwar’s return to the Parliament years after he was fired from the Cabinet in 1998.

To make things more complicated, Hamzah wasn’t just accusing Anwar of seducing his wife but also harassing her. Waitamin, this plot sounds eerily familiar.

It would make a great TV3 drama too. Unedited images from Kalis Kasih TV3 Facebook, @RajaPetra Twitter and The Front Media

In response to the allegations, Anwar filed a defamation suit worth RM10 million against Hamzah as Anwar believes that the allegations were made to publicly degrade him. But, oddly enough, Anwar decided not to pursuit the lawsuit years later in 2013 and decided to kautim with Hamzah outside of the court.

“The parties have decided that continuing this litigation is unnecessary and counterproductive bearing in mind the current political scenario and their current political responsibilities.” – R Sivarasa, Anwar’s counsel, as quoted by The Borneo Post.

After this incident, it seems as though Hamzah had stayed low for a bit. Well, that was until he decided to accept Dr Mahathir’s invitation to join BERSATU by quitting UMNO. Despite being invited to the party by Mahathir…

 

Mahathir was accused of planning the downfall of the Harapan govt

Although the party had won GE14 and formed a govt back in 2018 under the Pakatan Harapan coalition, it didn’t seem to stay loyal to the coalition.

That’s because, sometime in late 2019, there have been rumours that a new govt would be formed without DAP and AMANAH. The move also includes other things like retaining Mahathir as the Prime Minister instead of honouring the deal struck by Harapan, which was to allow Anwar to succeed Mahathir as the Prime Minister after two years.

It was said to be led by Azmin, Hamzah and Hishammuddin Hussein. However, Hishammuddin was quick to deny this.

This pic was obviously taken yearssss before the rumours were spread la. Img from Astro Awani

See, Hamzah was not just any random member in BERSATU la cos he was elected as the party’s secretary-general. But that’s not all. It seems like he also played an important role in BERSATU’s decision to quit the Harapan coalition.

As it turns out, BERSATU has been conducting meetings after meetings from March to April 2019 to apparently discuss the possibility of a unionisation between BERSATU, UMNO and PAS. They even elected a representative to initiate a conversation between these parties for this purpose. And guess who that guy is? Hamzah.

“Therefore, around March or April 2019, in a BERSATU Supreme Council meeting chaired by Mahathir, it was agreed that Hamzah Zainuddin—a former minister from UMNO who defected into BERSATU after GE-14—should initiate conversations between BERSATU, UMNO and PAS on the possibility of working together.” – An excerpt from Why Did BERSATU Leave Harapan?

One way to prove that this unionisation is possible was by organising the Malay Dignity Congress (you can check what that is here) cos, y’know, the event unites Malay people and those three parties we mentioned earlier are Malay-based parties. And apparently Mahathir was the one who had requested for this congress to be organised.

In fact, Hamzah alleged that he was even instructed by Mahathir to undermine public confidence in DAP. This was apparently one of the steps taken before BERSATU left Harapan.

“After joining Bersatu, there were discussions held from time to time. Dr Mahathir instructed me not only to strengthen the party but also for the people to lose confidence in DAP.” – Hamzah, as quoted by NST.

However, Mahathir reportedly denied giving any of these instructions tho. He even allegedly called Hamzah a mad man when Hamzah proposed that Najib show his support to Mahathir.

“But he told Najib to support me. He is insane. He even said I can leave Pakatan Harapan to form a new political party. I said no. I won’t do such thing.” – Mahathir, as quoted by Sin Chew Daily.

Despite that, it looks like Hamzah is still playing some important roles in recent events as well.

 

Hajiji was appointed as Sabah’s Chief Minister thanks to… Hamzah?!

Img from New Malaysia Herald.

Just in case you’ve forgotten, the Sabah state election was held a couple of months back. And it all started when former chief minister, Musa Aman claimed that he had majority support to form a new state govt and be elected as the chief minister replacing Shafie Apdal.

Musa met the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin to show letters to confirm that he had enough support to form a state govt. There were a few others who were called to meet the Yang di-Pertua Negeri as well and this includes Hamzah.

However, as we may all know, things didn’t go as Musa planned la. A Sabah state election was held instead where Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) won. Despite that, a conflict arose when the parties in GRS were deciding for a chief minister to elect. On one hand, there was UMNO who wanted Bung Mokhtar to be the chief minister while BERSATU wanted Hajiji Noor.

This was when Hamzah apparently came to the rescue by helping the coalition to decide and eventually picked Hajiji as the chief minister. While all this was happening, there have been rumours saying that Hamzah had forced the Yang di-Pertua Negeri to elect Hajiji as the chief minister.

Screenshot from PRN Sabah Facebook

However, it is noteworthy that Hamzah didn’t actually respond to this accusation la, so we advise y’all to take it with a pinch of garam kasar. What was reported tho was how he went to Sabah to discuss the matter with other party leaders like UMNO vice-president, Ismail Sabri and Sabah BERSATU deputy chief, Masidi Majun.

 

Some people are asking Muhyiddin to sack him from the govt

Img from The True Net

If you’re always following the Malaysian politics, you may have noticed that some people, regardless of which parties they’re from, don’t really like Hamzah. Well, it’s kinda normal to be in such a position la but some went to the extent of labelling him as a power crazy guy.

Puad Zarkashi, UMNO Supreme Council member in his Facebook post had accused Hamzah (and Azmin) of being power crazy. He said these guys were the ones who tried to thwart the decisions of UMNO’s political bureau that gave advice to the Perikatan Nasional govt – by claiming that UMNO wanted Anwar to be the next Prime Minister.

“Those who jump to other parties and then try to kill the very party that shaped them are the ones who are power crazy. Those play with fire will get burned and may Azmin and Hamzah feel the heat from that.” – An excerpt from Puad’s Facebook post. Translated from BM.

In the meantime, many people have called for Muhyiddin to sack Azmin and Hamzah from their positions. Liew Ching Tong said that Hamzah has done a lot of risky things that could jeopardise Muhyiddin’s govt.

But aren’t they bffs? Don’t believe us? Check Hamzah’s Twitter profile pic. Img from @dhzhamzah Twitter

“The attempt to declare emergency was also Hamzah’s doing while Azmin Ali was openly supporting it.” – Liew, as quoted by Malay Mail.

But will Hamzah and Azmin be sacked from their positions tho? Well, at the time of writing, there’s no further news on this but only time will tell what Muhyiddin would do to save his govt.

NAH, BACA:
4 former Anwar allies who are apparently now in Team Azmin

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