Affendi becomes first Sarawakian to head armed forces

Royal Malaysian Air Force chief General Affendi Buang.

PETALING JAYA: Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Chief General Affendi Buang, from Sarawak, is set to make history when he is named the new chief of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF).

When contacted, a spokesman for the defence ministry confirmed his appointment.

Affendi, who joined RMAF as a cadet officer in 1980, will replace outgoing MAF Chief General Zulkifli Zainal Abidin whose tenure ends on Jan 2.

Affendi will be the first Sarawakian to lead MAF and only the second general from RMAF to do so after Azizan Ariffin, who led the armed forces between 2009 and 2011.

Kuching-born Affendi is an experienced fighter pilot and was part of RMAF’s MiG-29 technical team when the air force inducted the Russian-made fighters into service.

He is also one of the founding members of RMAF’s MiG-29 tactical aerobatics team, the “Smokey Bandits”, which he led as well.

He has been involved in numerous missions throughout his career, including during the communist emergency.

He holds a Master of Arts in Strategic Studies from Deakin University in Australia, and has completed courses at the Malaysian Armed Forces Staff College, the Center for Defence and Strategic Studies in Australia and the Royal College of Defence Studies in London.

Affendi took over command of the air force in December 2016, taking over from Roslan Saad to become the country’s 18th RMAF chief.

He is married to Tengku Puteri Seri Teja Pahang Puan Sri Tengku Muhaini Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah.