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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Besides Aircraft Engines, Other Equipment Also Missing

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22  09  |  Bernama

-- Besides the two Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) F-5E fighter jet engines reported missing, other related equipment is also missing, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Tuesday.

He said the ministry will take action against senior officers responsible when the case happened.

He said a meeting of the Armed Forces Council will be held soon to discuss the issue and to take action against the senior officers.

'The outcome of the meeting will be given to me as chairman for comment," Ahmad Zahid said at a news conference after a courtesy call by the Maldives Minister for Social Security, Ameen Faisal, here.

He said besides four Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) personnel who had been detained in the case, several other MAF personnel involved had also been identified.

"We have placed them in specific places in the service and have taken action against them. They are still serving in the MAF as we are awaiting investigation from the aspect of armed forces laws, he said.

Ahmad Zahid said those detained were from other ranks in the Klang Valley who had links to Butterworth.

He said a company here which buys aircraft engines and has a branch in a neighbouring country was also being investigated.

"The investigation is being done comprehensively and I do not think the aircraft maintenance company is involved directly as it involves a purchasing company based here and has a branch in a neighbouring country.

"I think the company has an international network. The engines and equipment are believed to have been sent to a South American country," he said.

He aid the loss of the equipment is unacceptable although it had happened in several other countries.

"Traitors and betrayers are everywhere. The Ministry of Defence is not only carrying out internal investigation but, as mentioned by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday, we have passed the case to the police 100 per cent.

"The Attorney-General's Chambers has issued a statement that the investigation complete with several aspects of law should be open to the public through court action," he said.

Ahmad Zahid said the record and inventory systems of all services of the MAF were up-to-date but however up-to-date traitors will find a way around all existing regulations.

He called upon bloggers not to try to twist facts and complicate the matter with various analyses and speculation.

He said the prime minister himself will monitor results of the investigation and action will be taken against those guilty and will be made known from time to time to the public to reflect the ministry's transparency.

Ahmad Zahid said the ministry had asked companies producing the missing engines and other equipment to provide specifications and the information was expected soon.

He said to avoid a repeat, the system of sending aircraft equipment for repair was now tightened and monitored more closely.