MALAYSIA - For Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the job of tackling crime is like facing war every day.
Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is regarded as a man of action who, in the quest to fulfil his responsibilities as Home Minister, is not afraid to crack the whip. As such, the seasoned politician is unmoved by the numerous controversies and criticisms that have come his way almost from day one on the job.
In an interview with The Star, he confides that his job now is like "facing war every day" but he declares his belief that if one is committed to the given responsibility, one will be able to overcome all challenges.
> Within months of assuming office, you have taken stern action in fighting crime, including naming 49 of the country's notorious triads. How do you feel about the job?
I am fortunate to have worked as Defence Minister and my experience enables me to act as Home Minister based on the concept of total defence. In the Barisan Nasional election manifesto, tackling crime was listed as the main priority of the coalition and this is what we intend to do. However, let us be reminded that tackling crime is not just the responsibility of enforcement authorities but the people as well. Both criminals and enforcement officers are colour blind. Our priority is to provide the best protection for the 28 million Malaysians.
> Which is more challenging, becoming Defence or Home Minister? Have you set any target?
In Mindef, the war is fought occasionally but in the Home Ministry, I am at war on a daily basis. I treat all ministerial posts as the same. There is none that is better or more important than the other. I believe that we must carry out our duties sincerely. If we are committed towards our responsibility, then it will precede any challenges. My objective is a situational objective. We are subjected to KPI (Key Performance Indicators) and last week, a review was done by the Prime Minister and the ministry's achievement as at end of June was about 78 per cent. I cannot claim this credit alone as it was also done by Datuk Seri Hishammuddin.