It is encouraging to note the statements made by Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi relating to future arms purchase as reported in the Malay Mail dated October 13, 2009, under the bold headlines that reads ‘Arms purchase review on the cards’.
What strikes me are two significant statements, firstly quote “ We will make sure that the funds allocated to the Armed Forces are spent wisely and arms procurement and other contracts are delivered on time and within the budget” unquote, and secondly quote “As long as I am Defence Minister I will make sure that the Armed Forces will not be the victim of greedy people who only want to make quick buck” unquote.
My personal comment on the above statement (if it were to be adhered strictly) is that it is going to cause a ‘commotion’ and ‘uneasiness’ among the many agents/vendors/commission seekers/cronies/cohorts etc, etc, that have been doing a flourishing business with Mindef. I do not need to mention who they are because it is common knowledge, as they are frequently seen loitering along the corridors of Mindef, and are continuously at the behest of the top bosses (Armed Forces and civilian alike), with some even listed in the entourage of the bosses during their foreign visits.
Someone did say to me sometime ago that doing business with Mindef is like you going on a fishing spree, whereupon having found the ‘lubuk’, you are assured of a good catch. But in order to continue enjoying a good catch, you are expected to also feed the small fishes as well, that loiters around the ‘lubuk’.
I am also told that the small fishes are littered all over, beholden to their bosses, prowling like hawks waiting for a bite at anything that moves. That’s the way to do business with Mindef, and I have said enough in my earlier postings concerning the corrupt practices of some of the bosses, that I only hope to see one day, one handcuffed and dragged to prison.
I am glad that the Defence Minister has made his position known to all, and my only hope is that the tender system for a contact with Mindef is fair, transparent and void of cronyism and special favour. And most of all, that all bidding are through the open tender system, and not the direct negotiation that was so common in the past.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION