KUALA LUMPUR: Before starting work at his new portfolio, outgoing Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said he would first meet up with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
“I want to hear what Datuk Seri Najib has in mind because he is our general. Certain guidelines will have to be given on how I am going to perform,” he told reporters at his home in Ampang yesterday.
Hishammuddin, who has been appointed Home Minister, said he would also receive a briefing from officials at his new ministry.
“I am touched that I have been given the new responsibilities and I leave the Education Ministry with mixed feelings as I have been there for five years,” he said.
Hishammuddin was the longest consecutively serving Education Minister as he was appointed in 2004, and subsequently reappointed after the March 2008 general elections.
Hishammuddin said he would finish off several items including releasing the twice annual report card under the National Education Blueprint 2006 – 2010, making sure that an appendix on government-aided schools was added to the blueprint, and finalising the documents on the Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English, before the handover to Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Muhyiddin has been appointed the new Education Minister.
Asked about the review of the Internal Security Act and the possibility of a Privacy Act, he said: “These would be looked at the context of the bigger umbrella of nation building, national interest and the welfare of the people.”
On whether he considered it a burden to be a cousin of the Prime Minister and holding the important Home Ministry portfolio, Hishammuddin said that was not the case.
“Even if I wasn’t Datuk Seri Najib’s cousin, I am still the son of a former prime minister and the grandson of the founder of Umno,” he said.
He added that what was important was to move forward.
“Everybody knows I am my own man. I do what is in the best interest of the country and Datuk Seri Najib respects me for that. That is why he has put me there,” he said.
Asked on Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin being left out of the Cabinet, he said it was nothing to be concerned about as there were other movement voices in the Cabinet.
“Being a new movement chief is not easy and we have said we want to transform Umno; thatâ€™s a full time job,” he said.
Source : The Star