Govt will boost weapons management, says Zahid
THERE can be no compromise on investigations into 26 missing firearms from the People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) office in Selama, Perak.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the ministry would not tolerate any abuse of power or misappropriation of firearms, and would boost weapons management in government agencies immediately.
“Thanks to the police and Rela’s enforcement unit for noticing the misappropriation during a recent audit. It is learnt that the officers had been involved in the sale (of Rela’s firearms) since 2012.
“The Home Ministry will not protect such officers,” Zahid said at the Home Ministry Open Day at the ministry’s complex in Ayer Keroh here yesterday.
Zahid said the measures included short- and long-term ones.
“We have also set up a task force to ensure that the standard operating procedures at Rela weapons secretariats are followed.”
Other measures, he said, included having a comprehensive manual on firearms handling, setting up a weapons inspection committee in every state and creating positions in Rela to guard weapons stores.
Zahid was commenting on reports of missing firearms from the Rela office in Selama, Perak, which was discovered by the Kedah police and the ministry’s firearms licence enforcement unit through an audit.
“We leave it to the police to investigate and I give the assurance that there will be no compromise on the matter. The findings will be submitted to the deputy public prosecutors for immediate action.”
Present were his deputy, Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron.
Khalid said 12 suspects, aged between 40 and 60, had been arrested.
Eleven guns were recovered and police were looking for another 15, he added.
“The initial calculation was 44 missing guns, but after a recount, we confirm that there were 26.
“The suspects were arrested in the northern part of the country. We will be making other arrests in Selangor.
“I advise those who had bought the guns to surrender them to the police. We know who they are and there is no need to wait until we come for them.”
The case is being investigated under Section 7 of the Firearms Act 1971 for trafficking in firearms and Section 8 of the same act for unlawful possession of firearms.
On terror threats, Khalid said police would arrest those linked to the Islamic State group and take proactive measures before they could cause harm.
“We have arrested 537 (militants and terrorists from 2001 to December last year) with 31 people arrested (this year).”
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi handing over a birth certificate to a woman and her child at the Home Ministry Open Day in Ayer Keroh yesterday. With him are his deputy, Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed (right), and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron.