Government sources told The Malaysian Insider that Datuk Seri Jamaludin Jarjis will enjoy the status of a minister in his new appointment.
A close friend of the PM, he was passed over for a Cabinet position because of concerns that he was carrying too much baggage.
He was accused and cleared of sexual harassment as well as criticised for comments made about Malaysian Indians while on a trip to the United States a couple of years ago. But all along there has been speculation that the MP for Rompin and former Science, Technology and Innovation Minister would be rewarded with a senior position in a government-linked company or as a special envoy of the government.
The reason being put forward for his nomination to be ambassador is that he has a “good network” in the US.
A former Second Finance Minister and Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, he is best known for the country’s Angkasawan programme, a project which brought pride to the country but also raised questions on the wisdom of spending millions of ringgit on a project with no tangible benefits to the public.
Why, why, why???
The ambassador post to Washington is a very important post and we need someone there who truly understands international relations and diplomacy and all the issues that arise between us and the US. In the past we’ve had career diplomats (ok, one or two political appointees too but not for a long time now) including the late Tan Sri Zain Azraai. Our last ambassador there was Datuk Rajamah Hussain but only briefly I think because the post has been vacant for a quite a while.
But now we’re getting a political appointee who will get Ministerial status as well. OK, that will tell the Americans that we regard Washington as an important post. But navigating DC is something else. Apparently JJ has many contacts in the US, including among the Obama circle. But getting past Rahm Emanuel may not be that easy.
Anyway, the US State Department still has to OK this appointment. What if they say no?
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