KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 — Pasir Salak MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said he was being treated as a homeless person by critics of his appointment as Malaysia’s ambassador to Indonesia.
According to Utusan Malaysia, the Umno lawmaker appeared hurt by the public remarks over his controversial selection, but chose not to respond directly to his critics at the moment.
“I don’t want to make hurtful statements, and simply assuage myself when I see what people were writing about me; some of it seems unfair to me,” he was quoted as saying.
“They don't know me, they only know me as an old man. But I have served the government, the country and the people for more than 45 years, since I was 25. Now I’m being treated as if I were a homeless person.”
Tajuddin said this was why he would only respond at an appropriate time.
He also said he expected to leave for his posting to Jakarta next week.
"About the mission there, there is actually a lot on my mind, but it can't divulged now, wait until I reach there (Indonesia), then I will talk," he said.
When asked if he would be able to be diplomatic as the envoy to Indonesia given his reputation for combative communication, Tajuddin claimed that this was not an important aspect and should not overshadow his sincerity and commitment to work.
On Tuesday, Tajuddin confirmed that he has been appointed as the country’s new ambassador to Indonesia to replace Zainal Abidin Bakar, who retired on April 4, 2021.
The appointment has drawn criticism from lawmakers, former envoys, and citizens groups, among others, who questioned Tajuddin’s selection for such a vital posting over career diplomats from the Foreign Ministry.
Critics have highlighted Tajuddin’s truculent past conduct in Parliament and his removal as Prasarana Malaysia Berhad non-executive chairman after a controversial press conference following a LRT crash in KLCC last year, when he described the accident in which 213 people were injured as two trains “kissing”.
Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 also questioned how Tajuddin would be able to serve his Pasir Salak constituents effectively when he must be out of the country for the posting.