Country's defence assets should stop going through middlemen, says ex-Patriot member

13 Jan 2023 08:00am
Malaysian Chinese Veteran Army (Macva) member Captain Wong Ang Peng
Malaysian Chinese Veteran Army (Macva) member Captain Wong Ang Peng
SHAH ALAM - The country's defence assets should not go through a middleman, says Malaysian Chinese Veteran Army (Macva) member Captain Wong Ang Peng.

He said the Defence Ministry was the ‘most expensive’ ministry in Putrajaya as it has owned planes, warships, tanks, vehicles, torpedoes, drones, weapons and bombs.

“The country could face major losses if it is not managed well,” he said.

Wong said the army’s assets must go through an effective maintenance programme to avoid malfunctioning equipment.

He urged the ministry to review contracts with supplier. There must also be sufficient supply of spare parts, he said.

"If a plane is not maintained well due to middlemen cutting corners or corruption in the procurement, the plane would be a flying coffin.

“The term flying coffin remains in the minds of all air force pilots. Their safety should be prioritised by the government and it requires a large expenditure to manage it," he told Sinar Premium.

He further called on the Defence Ministry and Finance Ministry to have a procedure to monitor and remove any possibility of corruption.

Wong, the former National Patriot Association (Patriot) member said other than affecting the quality of production due to leakage and corruption, asset acquisition through middlemen brought a major issue if the specification or items acquired were not standardised.
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“The ministry should band together a group of experts in their own field to ensure the acquisition process doesn’t go through a middleman,” he said.

Selangor Sultan Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah on Tuesday showed His Majesty’s worries towards the defence assets of the country primarily those in the navy that were much older and in need of change.

The Sultan as the navy captain said the exchange of old assets must be done to ensure the sovereignty of the country’s waters were maintained well.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan on the same day revealed further room for improvement in the air force defence system as some of the assets are old.

Defence analyst Muhammad Fuad Mat Noor and Zaki Salleh shared the same views that the main problem of the country’s defence asset was not because of its lack of resources but due to the multitude of layers in acquisition.

However, both wanted all parties to see the issue of the defence assets and the country’s safety that was outdated as a whole, this included the army, air force, police and Malaysia Maritim.