Mat Sabu to expose misconduct in Defence Ministry

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KUALA LUMPUR — Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu has pledged to expose all misconduct and malpractices in the 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 previously, mainly on the procurement of military assets.

Allegations pertaining to these 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 in an interview with Bernama.

Mohamad said that 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 Cabinet minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz that all armed forces land in the country had been swapped with a company.

“We had also raised the matter of 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 the special investigation committee would be able to unravel 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 the international waters, and the commitment to strengthen the agreement on the Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (Zopfan) in Southeast Asia.

Mohamad reiterated his commitment to continue to take care of the welfare of the Malaysian Armed Forces personnel and maintain 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 said.

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 an in-depth study, and a proposal would be submitted to the Cabinet for a decision. — Bernama