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Who Is Onn Hafiz, The Dark Horse Who Became 19th Johor MB?

Who Is Onn Hafiz, The Dark Horse Who Became 19th Johor MB?

The 44-year old politician replaced state Barisan Nasional and UMNO chief Datuk Hasni Mohamad as the Johor Menteri Besar.

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Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi, 44, was sworn in as the new Johor Menteri Besar yesterday, following the footsteps of his ancestors and replacing the state Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad.

The newly elected Machap assemblyman is no stranger to the Johor government as he had previously held the Johor Tourism, Youth and Sports Committee Exco post under Hasni’s leadership.

In last weekend’s Johor state election, Onn won the Machap seat in a four-cornered contest with a majority of 6,543 votes. The other candidates were Azlisham Azahar (Perikatan Nasional), R. Sangaran (Malaysian United Democratic Alliance), and Datuk Dr Sharuddin Md Salleh (Pejuang).

He had previously held the Layang-Layang state seat which he won in the last general election.

It runs in the family

Onn is married to Datin Sharmin Fazlina Mohd Shukor and the couple are blessed with four children.

He comes from a politically influential family. Onn is the great-grandson of UMNO’s founding member and its first president Datuk Seri Onn Jaafar, as well as the grandson of Malaysia’s third Prime Minister Tun Hussein Onn.

Onn is also the nephew of Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak (left) and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (right). (Credit: AP & Sinar Harian)

Two of Onn’s ancestors had also previously held the post of Johor Menteri Besar; the previously mentioned Onn Jaafar and Jaafar Muhammad, the latter of which was the first person to ever hold the post.

Early beginnings

Onn was the product of the renowned Royal Military College (RMC) and holds a degree in accounting from the University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom (UK).

An accountant by training, Onn joined politics back in 2006. He had previously held the Sembrong Umno Youth vice chief’s post, the Sembrong Umno youth chief post, and is now the Simpang Renggam Umno Division Vice Chief.

At the national level, Onn had previously held the UMNO Youth Exco post.

Onn had also served as the political secretary to Hishammuddin during the latter’s previous term as the Defence Minister.

Najib’s ally

The new Johor Menteri Besar has his fair shares of controversy and was known to be an ally to Najib.

He appeared as a witness in Najib’s SRC International Sdn Bhd trial and told the Kuala Lumpur High Court that his company Vital Spire Sdn Bhd received a cheque for RM240,000 from Najib to launch the now-defunct Malaysian Digest news portal.

He said that the cheque for the amount was for the portal to disseminate news and combat fake news.

The news portal was shut down in the aftermath of the 2018 General Election.

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