Ahmad Hasbullah Mohd Nawawi is new Army chief

FARIS FUAD

KUALA LUMPUR: Gen Datuk Ahmad Hasbullah Mohd Nawawi has been appointed the new Army chief, succeeding Gen Tan Sri Zulkiple Kassim effective today.

Ahmad Hasbullah, 59, officially assumed his duties from Zulkiple, who went on mandatory retirement, during a handover ceremony witnessed by Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu.

Present were Deputy Defence Minister Liew Ching Tong, the ministry’s chief secretary Datuk Halimi Abd Manaf and Chief of Defence Forces Gen Tan Sri Zulkifli Zainal Abidin.

Ahmad Hasbullah said he will continue his predecessor’s mission to strengthen the role of the army by focusing on four main thrusts.

The four thrusts, he said, centre on improving the professionalism, readiness, integrity and quality of life within the army.

Ahmad Hasbullah said he hoped the Defence Ministry and Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) would provide the necessary advice and guidance for him to fulfil his duties well.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Sultan Muhammad V) for consenting to my appointment

“I would also like to thank the prime minister (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) and defence minister for supporting my appointment as the new Army chief.

“I pray to Allah that I have the strength to carry out my duties,” he added.

He said this during the handover ceremony at Wisma Pertahanan here today.

Ahmad Hasbullah previously served as Army field commander in 2009 before being promoted to deputy chief of the Army in 2011.

The Kuala Kangsar native began his military after being accepted into the Royal Malay Regiment on Dec 11, 1981. He was also ATM’s education director for three years from April 1, 2001. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd