Ahmad Husni: Champion of the people?

Husni Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah

by Rahim Zainuddin

“When I am no longer in politics, my mind is without disturbance, because in politics there is much disturbance,” former Second Finance Minister Ahmad Husni Hanazalah was quoted by Bernama as saying on July 7.

The Tambun MP was belatedly explaining the circumstances surrounding his omission from the reshuffled Cabinet announced by the Prime Minister on June 27.

Relinquishing all his party posts, Husni said that going forward he only wanted to focus his energies on serving his constituents well. How noble!

His announcement may have been unexpected, but it was surely not earth-shattering, and his absence from Cabinet, like his presence before, is not expected to have any impact whatsoever on the local political and financial scenes.

Perhaps an undisturbed life came too quickly for him after all, for curiously, on Sunday, Ahmad Husni surprised all of us by emerging from nowhere to revisit and revise the reasons for his resignation.

Now he claims that the 1MDB saga had made him ill since the turn of the year. It was just too much stress for him apparently, even though (he is quick to say himself) it did not involve him.

The timing of his latest statement leads me to question his motivation.

  • Are you now saying that you resigned as a matter of principle, Sir?
  • What exactly did you mean when you said that upon retirement 1MDB “no longer disturbs” your “mind and heart”?

Your “mind and heart” did not seem disturbed when on June 27 you told the press in no uncertain terms that 1MDB had nothing to do with your decision. You wanted to end your career at the MOF, you claimed, and were not keen to take up a new position in the Cabinet. To us, the implication of your words was that you wanted to carry on in the Finance Ministry. Isn’t that where 1MDB resides?

Neither did your “mind and heart” seem disturbed when you claimed with a straight face in May last year that the redeemed assets sitting in BSI Bank in Singapore were not in the form of “cash” but were instead “units” which were “backed by sovereign wealth funds.” Until today, nobody has understood what you meant. Are you going to now come up with a proper explanation?

Again, where was your “conscience” when you defended the government and 1MDB on RTM’s “Dialog: 1MDB: Di Mana Wangnya”? (Video below)

The bottom line, Sir, is that you made no impression whatsoever as a champion of the people during your seven-year stint in Cabinet.

So why the need to start now?

Rahim Zainuddin is a FMT reader.

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