Abdullah makes desperate moves, but why two NCER advisers?
It is obvious that the appointment of Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim as the Prime Minister's Special Adviser on the Northern Corridor Economic Region is Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's desperate move to secure enough nominations to defend the Umno Presidency. Abdullah is hoping that Shahidan will get the three Umno divisions in Perlis to support him. That is obviously an uphill task.
But here comes the million dollar question. Did Abdullah forget that he already has an adviser for the NCER project - Bernama Chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Annuar Zaini?
Or is Annuar being given the boot and being replaced by Shahidan? The Bernama story announcing Shahidan's appointment makes no mention of Annuar.
I reproduce here the full Bernama story on Annuar's appointment:
Thursday September 6, 2007 Bernama chairman made PM’s NCER adviser
PUTRAJAYA: Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) chairman Datuk Annuar Zaini has been appointed special adviser to the Prime Minister for the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER). Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi appointed Annuar to the post on Aug 30. Annuar, who has vast experience in the private and public sector, will be coordinating efforts to set up the plan implementation agency as well as monitoring all start-up activities in the region. The Prime Minister’s Department announced Annuar’s appointment in a statement here yesterday.
I hope Abdullah will not call for a Press conference today and say that NCER is a huge project and therefore the Prime Minister needs two advisers. That will be laughable. Everyone knows that nothing is moving up north.
In days to come, we can expect appointments of more Umno State Liaison Committee Chiefs and maybe even divisional chiefs into cushy positions. Abdullah is fighting a losing battle to defend the Umno Presidency and he needs the support of all these people.
My name is Mohd Ashraf Abdullah. I was born and raised in Tampin, Negeri Sembilan. I am a journalist at heart. I served the New Straits Times as a journalist for 17 years, beginning as a cadet reporter in 1988. I was trained to be a political writer. I served the NST in various capacities including as Staff Correspondent of the Kuantan Bureau and London Correspondent. I resigned as News Editor in 2004 to join Golden Hope Plantations Berhad as Deputy General Manager, Group Corporate Affairs. Two years later I was made General Manager, Group Corporate Affairs. When Golden Hope and Kumpulan Guthrie Berhad were merged with Sime Darby Berhad in November 2007, I chose not to accept the offer of employment by the merged entity. I was a scholar of the British Government and possess a Masters Degree in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. I am also a Jefferson's Fellow of the East West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.