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20th June 2020

Patriot takes a very serious view in the case of the arrest of eighteen members of the security forces, in particular the five military personnel, suspected of human trafficking in the East Coast of Johor. Those arrested were enforcement officers, meaning they were entrusted to execute tasks given by their superiors, and were accused of colluding with crime syndicates. This is shocking because it is a crime against the nation, and it is also a disgrace to those in uniform. 

If guilty, the culprits must be seriously dealt with. A charge for treason is preferred if possible. Patriot has for the last three years quite critical of corrupt activities and abuse of power. As officers previously, we were trained to execute our tasks professionally to achieve the mission. Our integrity was beyond question. Our values were in honour, truth, and courage and for country. Often time our tasks ahead were risky and we were prepared to lose our lives. Failure in the missions was unacceptable. As such, being veterans now we are averse to corruption and abuse of power among politicians and those holding high offices. For members of the security forces involved in crimes against the nation, we hold a stricter yardstick for criticism.    

There was misdemeanor among service personnel in the yesteryears. But it was mostly confined to personal ill discipline and minor offences like AWOL (absent without leave), striking, and even drug abuse. Commission of crime against the nation was almost non-existence. Part of the reason for that was because we had good leaders who guided and who had set good example to the subordinates. Everyone, every leader at any level was instilled with the maxim of leadership by example.     

Commissioner of Police Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay and his Johor police force are to be commended for their decisive action on the arrest and put a stop to the nonsense that seems to have gone unchecked for several years. A strong message must be sent that crime does not pay; no matter how high an office one holds.  

The commanders of today need to take an introspective look at the effectiveness of their command. The saying that there is no bad soldiers buy only bad officers still holds true. Similarly if the nation is chaotic it is the political leaders who are to be blamed.   

In this regrettable case of security forces personnel collusion with crime syndicates, we urge commanders at all levels to keep reminding their officers and men of their sworn pledge to serve the King and country with all sincerity, honesty and to the fullest of their ability. The rank that they wear must be upheld in high esteem, honour and dignity.

Patriot would also like to suggest to the relevant authority that the five military personnel be handed over to the Armed Forces for them to be tried by a Military Court if the relevant authority finds that the charges against them do not extend to an act of treason.  

BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd)
Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan