Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The most powerful woman in Malaysia?

"Hello, Anneh (brother), looks like your friend Datuk Ainon is the most powerful woman in the country today lah ..."

I knew instantly what the caller was referring to. For days, rumours had been going around that Firdaus Abdullah's brutal tweets purportedly meant for Datuk Ainon Mohd, the Prime Minister's close aide, were going to cost the new Media Prima managing editor his job. 

This morning Malaysiakini landed a story to end the rumours:

Read the whole article h e r e

The article made no mention of Ainon or the tweets said to be aimed at her (although many including me at first thought they were aimed at Suhaimi Sulaiman, the new chairman of national news agency Bernama). I was told the management of Media Prima felt the tweet should not have been posted, notwithstanding who it was meant to, because they would be misconstrued as representing the company's position on a certain individual or subject.

Well, maybe Firdaus' "removal" had nothing to do with those tweets at all.  The fact of the matter is I don't really know. Both Firdaus and Ainon have not spoken to me for quite a while but we are friends, former colleagues at Balai Berita.

So, Ainon the most powerful woman in Malaysia? Naaaah. TS Muhyiddin Yassin's de facto press secretary is protective - maybe over protective - of her boss but that's what press secretaries do. I have dealt with press secretaries of earlier PMs to know that these former journalists sometimes had to do what they wouldn't have done as journalists.

The most powerful woman in Malaysia, if you ask me, is still Zeti Akhtar Aziz, the PNB chairman, who has just terminated the services of CEO Jalil Rasheed, who had been put there just a few months ago by The Most Powerful Young Man (and rumoured to be the youngest billionaire) in Malaysia, at least at that material time. - 23 June 2020, Bangsar

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