Media Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 5th January 2010:
Have the two missing RM100 million F5 fighter jet engines ended up as scrap metal or sinkers for fishing? All the more why there must be a Royal Commission of Inquiry into rampant kleptocracy in Malaysia
The explanation by the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail on the two missing RM100 million F5 fighter engines have raised public incredulity and outrage to new heights, spawning even more questions, including:
Firstly, why have the police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers taken such an inordinately long time of over 16 months in the investigations into the two J85-GE-21 engines, which power the F5 fighters, which had been stolen from two RMAF facilities while some components from the same planes were also unaccounted for?
All that Gani can say now is that police had completed its investigations “to a large extent” and that he would announce “very soon” the decision on the next course of action against those involved in the thefts.
This is totally unsatisfactory as according to police investigations, the engines were taken out of the RMAF base on Dec 20, 2007 and Jan 1, 2008, and sent to a premises in Subang Jaya.
The military only realised that the engines were missing on May 22 of that year and launched an investigation, and the base’s chief Major Zulfikli Ayub later lodged a report at the Brickfields police station on Aug 4.
Secondly, have the two missing RM100 million F5 fighter jet engines ended up as scrap metal or sinkers for fishing?
Gani stressed that he was being sarcastic as “I really do not know what is being done to it now, whether the engines are used as scrap metal or as sinker for fishing.” (Star)
But such unintended sacarsm is at the expense of the Mindef, Police and the AG himself!
Thirdly, what is the use or worth of Gani’s “vow” to bring back the two stolen jet engines when the government does not know where they are, what they have become or has not been able to bring to book the culprits responsible?
Fourthly, has kleptocracy (a government characterized by rampant greed and corruption) become so rampant that mere “rank and file” can walk away with two RM100 million jet engines from top-security areas without the involvement “senior military personnel” in the scandal?
This is the implication when Gani said that o senior military personnel was involved in the scandal, only those from the “rank and file”.
If so, this is all the more justification why there must be a Royal Commission of Inquiry into rampant government kleptocracy in Malaysia.
The questions posed by a visitor to my blog warrants response by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, himself as he was the Defence Minister as the operative time of the theft of the two jet engines and also because of all his sloganeering about KPIs, NKRAs and most of all, “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now”:
“What kind of outfit are they operating if rank and file could steal and cart two RMAF F5-E jet engines out with impunity???
“If security were so lax in a military base what is there to prevent enemies of the state from securing corrupt rank and file for access to plant bombs in the jet planes at the base in sabotage of the nation’s defence system? Isn’t this a case of criminal negligence of higher ups to allow security breach of such nature to occur in extreme threat to national interest?
“If the theft occurred in 2007 you mean that they need to take over 2 years to discover this? Does that not mean that in these two years no pilot test -fly the jet plans and no maintenance people maintain these planes for all the two years for otherwise the theft would surely have been earlier discovered?
“If thats the way they neglect the planes that are supposed to defend the country’s territorial integrity – what hope is there for a proper defence of the country’s national security? And why should so much of the Public Expenditures/Taxes go to pay for these defence systems if there were no proper inventory controls?
“Worse still if higher ups were in complicity for a sting of such daring proportion and scale to be carried out.
“If it were so easy to take out military hardware from a secure base due to lack of inventory controls what is there to stop the hardware being highjacked at source even before it arrives at the secure military base???
“For example if we buy planes or submarines from a foreign country what is there to stop the so called low ranking rank and file from selling them to another third country and arrange for these planes and submarines from going direct from the first mentioned to the third country direct whilst the inventory over here registers that they (planes and submarines) have arrived at the base here when in fact they have not? Have you seen the military arms-in-being when they arrive here? Can we check inventory records ? No – because of Official Secrets Act.
“So if rank and file can pull a stunt of such magnitude what is there to stop a total hijack and detour (at source) if ever (hypothetically) some higher up general or brigadier were ever involved in complicity in such a bold sting???
“I am just extrapolating the situation as logically will result based on such a ridiculous situation of jet engines being in the position to be stolen by rank and file!”
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor