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7th June 2018
Former Auditor General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang has been named to head the Investigative Committee of Administrative Affairs, Procurement and Finance by the Cabinet on 6 June 2018. (Malay Mail dated 6 June 2018). Patriot applauds the creation of such a committee by the government and welcomes the appointment of Tan Sri Ambrin Buang to head the committee.
Tan Sri Ambrin Buang is noted for his dedication and outstanding work as the Auditor General. During his tenure he exposed numerous mismanagement of financial resources of ministries and departments of the past BN-led government. Unfortunately little did the then government make known with regards to the action taken by ministries and department to the findings/observations in the Auditor General’s yearly report. A clear example is concerning the loss of RM100 million by the Youth Ministry that remains a mystery till this date, which the Youth Minister then had promised to investigate.
Tan Sri Ambrin Buang in his brief statement said that the Defence Ministry will be his first priority and this is rightfully so. To most defence contractors, the Defence Ministry with its huge budget allocation provided ample opportunity for corruption, and very likelihood it continues to this day. Furthermore there is also the case of the 40,000 hectares of military land allegedly privatised.
Patriot would like to suggest to Tan Sri Ambrin Buang to look at all major procurement of defence capital equipment of the three armed services from year 2000 onwards. Procurement exercises ran into billions of ringgit and there had been allegations of some senior military officers involved as parties to corruption in connivance with defence contractors. It was also alleged that contracts were given to suppliers who were cronies to some senior military officers. It is common to find suppliers setting up a few companies owned by them to vie for the same contract.
Patriot would also like to suggest that the committee invites past military officers who were involved in the procurement exercise to assist the committee. An important reason for this is because as veterans officers they had been vetted for security clearance. We are quite certain many would be willing to come forward to expose the rot involving corruptible conduct especially with regards to the procurement of major capital equipment for the three armed services.
Corruption in the Defence Ministry has been going on for years and in some cases to the knowledge of those of the armed services. This has to stop and hopefully the findings of the Investigative Committee of Administrative Affairs, Procurement and Finance will put a complete halt to those years of corrupt practices by officials of the Defence Ministry.
BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd)
President, Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan