Vow to expose wrongdoings
Mat Sabu says panel will examine procurement of military assets by previous government
THE defence minister says an investigative committee will get to the bottom of numerous allegations swirling around dealings of the previous government.
DEFENCE Minister Mohamad Sabu has pledged to expose all alleged misconduct and malpractices in the Defence Ministry by the previous government if there is any truth to the claims.
Mohamad, who is popularly known as Mat Sabu, said several issues related to the ministry had been raised, mainly on the procurement of military assets.
The allegations would be looked into by the special investigation committee on procurement, governance and finance, headed by former auditor general Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, he said recently at Wisma Bernama here.
Mohamad said in the campaign leading up to the general election on May 9, several matters associated with the ministry had been brought up, including the allegation by former international trade and industry minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, that all armed forces land in the country had been swapped with a company.
“We had also raised the purchase of the Scorpene-class submarines, the murder of (Mongolian model) Altantuya Shaariibuu and so on, many issues,” he said.
Mohamad, who was sworn in as the defence minister on May 21, said he believed that the special investigation committee would be able to scrutinise the various allegations and set the record straight so as to change the people’s negative perception that could undermine the image of the ministry.
He also said there would be no major change in the policies adopted by the ministry, except for improvements in their implementation.
These policies included military cooperation with neighbouring countries in monitoring waters and the commitment to strengthen the agreement on the Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (Zopfan) in Southeast Asia, he said.
Mohamad reiterated his commitment to continue overseeing the welfare of Armed Forces personnel, and maintaining their preparedness in defending national security and sovereignty.
“Our current national financial and economic positions require us to make adjustments. However, the welfare and preparedness of our military cannot be compromised.”
He also said matters initiated by the previous government, such as the King Salman Centre for International Peace and the National Service Training Programme, would be subjected to in-depth study, and a proposal would be submitted to the cabinet for a decision.
Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu speaking at an interview in Wisma Bernama on Tuesday.