‘NO COM­PRO­MISE

Govt will boost weapons man­age­ment, says Zahid

New Straits Times - - News -

KELLY KOH

MALACCA kelly.koh@nst.com.my

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).”

PIC BY RASUL AZLI SAMAD

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.

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