Affendi Buang appointed as new Armed Forces chief

Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu witnesses the handover of duties as Armed Forces chief from General Tan Sri Zulkifli Zainal Abidin to General Tan Sri Affendi Buang (right) at the Defence Ministry in Kuala Lumpur January 2, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu witnesses the handover of duties as Armed Forces chief from General Tan Sri Zulkifli Zainal Abidin to General Tan Sri Affendi Buang (right) at the Defence Ministry in Kuala Lumpur January 2, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 2 — General Tan Sri Affendi Buang of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) has been appointed as Malaysia’s 21st Armed Forces chief today.

His predecessor, General Tan Sri Zulkifli Zainal Abidin of the army, handed over his duties during the official handover ceremony today witnessed by Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu and his deputy, Senator Liew Chin Tong.

General Zulkifli assumed the role on June 20, 2018 from General Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor who was also from the army.

The event saw many of the military’s top decorated brass from all the services in attendance at the military’s headquarters in Wisma Pertahanan.

Affendi’s appointment is the second time the top office in the military has been granted to the RMAF. The first was General Tan Sri Azizan Ariffin who was appointed as the 17th chief of the Armed Forces on September 1, 2009 and held the position until June 14, 2011.

Born on August 21, 1962 in Kuching, Sarawak, General Affendi received his early education in his home city before he was offered a place in the Royal Military College in Sungai Besi. He completed his SPM in 1979 and joined the military as RMAF cadet in 1980.

The Sarawakian general was trained as a jet fighter pilot on a MB339-A aircraft before graduating to a McDonnel Douglas A-4 Skyhawk in October 1984.

In 1994, General Affendi was chosen for the MiG-29 team and was one of the pioneers in inducting the aircraft into the RMAF’s operational capacity. He was also one of the founders for RMAF’s MiG-29 aerial acrobatics team the Smokey Bandits.

From 1997 to 2002, he served under the First Air Division as a staff officer before ending his stint there as Fighter Operation Staff Officer One, who was in charge of the operational readiness of all of RMAF’s flight squadrons.

He then furthered his studies at the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies at the Defence College in Australia.

In December 2009, the airman was promoted as a Brigadier General and was appointed as Operations and Exercise director general at the Air Operations Command Base. At the end of 2010 he took a one-year course at the Royal College of Defence Studies in the United Kingdom.

Upon coming home, General Affendi was promoted as a major general in 2010 and as a lieutenant general in July 2014. Later in 2015, he was also appointed as deputy chief of the Air Force.

He was promoted as 18th chief of the Air Force on December 21, 2016 replacing General Tan Sri Roslan Saad.

Today’s event ended with a military send-off for General Zulkifli.

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