Affendi Buang first Sarawakian to be appointed MAF chief

Zulkifli (left) handing over duties to Affendi witnessed by Mohamad Sabu.

KUCHING, Jan 2: Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) chief General Tan Sri Affendi Buang is the first Sarawakian to be appointed Malaysia’s 21st Armed Forces (MAF) chief.

In an official ceremony at Wisma Pertahanan in Kuala Lumpur today, his predecessor General Tan Sri Zulkifli Zainal Abidin handed over his duties to Affendi which was witnessed by Minister of Defence Mohamad Sabu.

According to a media release, Affendi is the second RMAF chief to helm the MAF, after General Tan Sri Azizan Ariffin who was appointed as the 17th chief of the Armed Forces on Sept 1, 2009 until June 14, 2011.

Born on Aug 21, 1962 in Kuching, Affendi received his early education in his hometown before being offered to further his studies in the Royal Military College in Sungai Besi and graduated with Malaysian Certificate of Education (MCE) or SPM in 1979.

He then joined the military as an RMAF cadet in 1980 where he received basic training at the Cadet Officer School in Sebatang Kara, Port Dickson.

He was chosen to undergo Basic Flight Training in RMAF Alor Setar the following year. He later was trained as a jet fighter pilot on MB339-A aircraft and thereafter flew the McDonnel Douglas A-4 Skyhawk in October 1984.

With his knowledge and skills, Affendi was sent to be trained as a flight coach in January 1988.

In 1994, he was chosen for the MiG-29 project team where he was later assigned to the project technical team in Russia. Affendi founded the MiG-29N’s “Smokey Bandits” tactical aerobatics team and later led the team during his tenure as the No. 17/19 Squadron’s commanding officer.

Throughout his career as a flight operator, Affendi was known as a skilled fighter pilot. He was actively involved in several air operations including Close Air Support and Battlefield Interdiction Mission fighting the communists in the 1980s.

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 Defence College at the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies in Australia in 2005.

In December 2009, the true blue fighter pilot was promoted to Brigadier General and was appointed as Operations and Exercise director general at the Air Operations Command Base.

At the end of 2010, he went to pursue a one-year course at the Royal College of Defence Studies in the United Kingdom.

Upon his return to Malaysia, Affendi was promoted to 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.

In Dec 21, 2016, he was promoted to be the 18th chief of the Air Force, replacing General Tan Sri Roslan Saad.

Zulkifli who has served the country for 40 years inspects the guard of honour.

Meanwhile, Zulkifli has retired after an extended service from June 20 last year.

He was honoured for his four decades of service for the country with a military send-off at the ceremony today. — DayakDaily