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3rd June 2018

The NST 2 June reported in an article titled ‘Former Army Chief to be head of Armed Forces’ might have breached the confidentiality of Armed Forces Council (AFC) papers. It was reported that AFC convened on Friday 1 June had deliberated and approved the promotion of several senior Armed Forces officers, and including that of General Zulkifli Zainal Abidin to replace General Raja Affandi Raja Mohamed as the new Chief of Defence Force effective 20 June. A full promotion list of senior Armed Forces officers has also gone viral.
Patriot is informed that the AFC papers relating to the promotion of senior military officers has yet to be presented to the Yang Di Pertuan Agong for his approval. This being so, the AFC Secretariat should have embargoed the decisions of the AFC relating to the promotion of senior military officers until the approval of the Yang di Pertuan Agong is sought. The authority to issue a statement relating to this issue then lies with the Mindef Public Relations department. Rightfully no other individual is permitted to issue any statement relating to the affairs of the ministry.
This is a serious breach of the confidentiality of the AFC papers and Patriot urges Mindef to fully investigate this incident. If breaches of confidential AFC papers could be breached, other secret defence papers could be breached too and fall into the hands of unauthorized individuals.
Since the news of the AFC’s decision regarding the termination of the service of Gen Raja Affandi and his replacement Gen Zulkifli came out on 2 June, and a day earlier in the social media chat, there has been incessant messages viraling in the cyber space accusing the President of Patriot, BG Mohd Arshad, of having a hand in recommending the new CDF. Patriot would like to categorically state that it is not true. Patriot made no such recommendation. It is obvious that since the rumour came out on Friday 1 June, there was an outpouring of disgust and dissatisfaction from among veterans and also those still serving. Patriot shares the sentiment expressed as the Armed Forces needs a chief who is untainted, professional and much respected by the vast majority, and there are others among those with three stars.
BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd)
President, Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan