PETALING JAYA: Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah has confirmed in a press interview that he was to be moved out of the the powerful finance ministry. He said he chose to end his political career rather than accept a new cabinet position.
Ahmad Husni had been second finance minister in prime minister Najib Razak’s cabinet.
He told the Berita Harian newspaper that he had asked Najib about his position just hours before a cabinet reshuffle was announced on June 27.
“The prime minister confirmed that my portfolio would be changed. I then informed him that I had made my mind up to end my political career in the Finance Ministry,” he was quoted as saying.
Husni did not reveal which portfolio he would be asked to take up. However, blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin of Malaysia Today wrote last week that Husni had been upset about being moved to Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government.
Raja Petra had described the Treasury position as being the second most powerful next to the prime minister. He had also speculated that Najib had been upset by Husni’s handling of Treasury responses to allegations about 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
In the press interview, Husni said: “The work as second finance minister was tough as it involved fiscal policy, the budget, 1MDB…”.
He said he had already decided to stay out of the next general election, which must be held by mid-2018. With only 18 months remaining for the present government, he said he felt he could not be effective in a new portfolio.
Husni also resigned as treasurer of Umno and Barisan Nasional and all other party positions.
Husni’s successor as second finance minister is former businessman Johari Abdul Ghani, the first-term MP for Titiwangsa and chairman of UDA Holdings. He was made a deputy minister at the Treasury in a cabinet reshuffle last year.