BUTTERWORTH – Several reforms need to be undertaken especially in terms of military equipment to ensure that the Armed Forces’ (ATM) preparedness will always be at the maximum level, says Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu.
He said the national armed forces were in dire need of modern and cutting-edge equipment and that he would personally take the matter to the attention of the Cabinet for consideration.
“After listening to the briefings from the army, the navy and the air force, I think there is a need for an immediate action to reform our military equipment. I hope the prime minister (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) will support this effort.
“It is because we want to ensure that the country’s military equipment, either weapons or equipment for transport, are in a tip-top condition as national security remains as a priority for the benefit of the Malaysian people,” he told a press conference at the breaking of fast event with the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) personnel at the Butterworth RMAF Base here today.
Also present were his wife, Normah Alwi, ATM chief General Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor and RMAF chief General Tan Sri Affendi Buang.
On the allegation that there was a misappropriation of funds in the purchase of military assets and operations, Mohamad said a committee, just like the special task force formed to probe into the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) issue, would be set up to investigate the allegation, if necessary.
“I have not looked into case by case. This is only the fifth day for me as a minister and so far, I have only been briefed by the officers involved on the ministry’s operations. I want to get to know the officers and the staff first.
“We will look into the allegation and all the other things reported in the media. I’m taking the approach of not to respond to hearsay. There must be a committee to handle it (issue),” he said.
The Butterworth RMAF Base was Mohamad’s first visit destination after being appointed to helm the Defence Ministry on May 22.
When asked about his feeling after being flown to the base for the first time on a military A400M aircraft, Mohamad said he felt so proud as he had been hearing the sound of the aircraft when it took off and landed on the runway because his house was located near the base.
“This is, however, my first time flying on the RMAF’s A400M aircraft. Even while flying through thick cloud, I don’t feel nervous. So, I hope this aircraft will always be in a tip top condition, especially when transporting our military personnel deployed to safeguard the country,” he added. – BERNAMA