Home Civil Society Voices Non-delivery of RM6bn navy ships: Mr PM, lead the country out of...

Non-delivery of RM6bn navy ships: Mr PM, lead the country out of the woods

Ismail Sabri Yaakob - WIKIPEDIA

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We see many things have gone wrong in the past and continue to go terribly wrong under your leadership as well.

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, your handpicked ministers, deputy ministers and special advisors who are supposedly intellectually the best from among the tens of thousands of party members have been a total disappointment.

This coterie of heads’ efforts in trying to resolve the many problems confronting the nation today remains much to be desired.

Honestly, there has not been a single policy or action forthcoming from any one of them that has pulled the brakes to halt the decay that is permeating throughout the entire system of government – namely, corruption, abuse of power and mismanagement.

The idiom “the fish rots from the head down” and has been defined as “failing organisations and how the blame of it should be on its ‘head’, that is, its leadership” perhaps best describes the state of the country’s current situation.

Corruption is becoming a daily reported occurrence, and the perpetrators are the very persons who are entrusted with the responsibility to ensure that all public-funded projects, development and activities are not abused and mismanaged to ensure that you as the PM achieve the desired and promised results.

Disgustingly, politicians have given various interpretations, definitions or meanings to the word corruption to make it look less sinful and, to some, acceptable if not caught in the act.

The heads of ministries and various government departments seem to be oblivious to what is happening under their charge, especially in the disbursement of funds. The abuses, misuse and leakages of public funds now run into abominable numbers.

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What seems to be the disgusting pattern under your leadership is when there is an expose on the wrongdoings of your elected and handpicked appointees, the ‘heads’ parade their total innocence or ignorance and are in quick strokes absolved of any responsibility for a wrongdoing.

What is totally upsetting is the scapegoat is often the subordinates.

Let truth also be told. There has never been an incident in our nation’s history where the head of a ministry or department will be the first to come forward into the open and take full responsibility for any shortcomings that occur in the ministry or department under his or her charge.

Patriot particularly draws your attention to the loss of RM6bn involving the failed naval littoral combatant ship (LCS) project. This is, undoubtedly, one glaring example of abuse, mismanagement and widely perceived as high-level corruption involving officials of the ministry, the project owner and others related to the project.

This high-level mismanagement was known some years ago but was probably kept under wraps, hoping that the problem could be managed and resolved.

One wonders whether the defence minister at the time was being aloof over the LCS project or why no one took responsibility to adequately brief the minister.

Whatever the case, the question is, can this be a justifiable reason to absolve the minister of any responsibility for that failed project? Leadership by any universal qualification means that the head takes full responsibility.

The loss of RM6bn of public funds that was reportedly paid out, but it ended without a single ship ever being completed and handed to the navy. This is clearly ‘thievery at its best’, whichever way one chooses to argue.

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It is mind-boggling how such a huge amount of money was paid by the Ministry of Finance without a physical check to ensure the money was rightfully spent. It certainly is not like paying for the purchase of a can of kacang putih (peanuts).

Patriot stands by the members of the parliamentary Public Account Committee (PAC) for their thorough investigation of this monumental loss of public funds.

We now demand and hope that the PAC report will be acted upon speedily by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. Bring to justice those found guilty of abuse, corruption and mismanagement of this multibillion ringgit LCS project.

Partiot also salutes the former chief of navy, Abdul Aziz Jaafar, for his courage and patriotism in speaking out against the Ministry of Defence and Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd for ignoring his professional views on the LCS project.

Mr Prime Minister, please take charge of the country as the PM of Malaysia. Do something. Stop the rot.

As the saying goes, “Do something – either lead, follow or get out the way”. Our national war against abuse, wastage, corruption and mismanagement of public funds demands exemplary and courageous leadership.

Otherwise, one must take ownership of the continuing failures and not keep blaming predecessors or subordinates, as seems to be the popular trend in almost every institution of government.

Patriot respectfully pleads that, as the PM, you should keep a tab on your bloated coterie of ministers, deputies and special advisors to do what has been entrusted to them, ie to save this nation under your leadership.

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Retired Brigadier General Dato’ Mohd Arshad Raji is president of the National Patriots Association (Patriot)

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The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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Robert
Robert
6 Aug 2022 10.11am

Reading the chronology of events involving the LCS contract, it is very obvious there was corruption from the very top.

Why the MACC did not come into the picture years ago speaks to the fact some cover up was already in play.

It is good the PAC performed its function excellently. Now we have to ensure full investigation without whitewashing anybody’s role even if that person is or was the PM or Defence Minister.

At the same time we should applaud Admiral Abdul Aziz Jaafar for his very principled stand in opposing the turn around by the then Defence Minister Zahid. Even he realised the funny goings on and thus protected himself with his written objections to both Defence Minister Zahid and PM Najib and avoided being scapegoated.

Vijay Shanmugam
Vijay Shanmugam
6 Aug 2022 8.34am

After decades of NEP and Ketuanism here, this is just the tip of the iceberg! The real and present danger facing us is blind faith that the champions of the so-called downtrodden majority race are indeed invincible to plunder with utmost impunity without whatsoever feeling of guilt and shame is a tell-sign that we’re heading to the Sri Lankan way soon..

Abdul Rahman Alavi
Abdul Rahman Alavi
6 Aug 2022 7.04am

The problem lies on Malaysian political system. The PM is helpless and unable to react coz he needs the support of the MPs in order to stay in power. So, solution to this is change the political system and lessen the power of MP and ministers. Civil servants promotions to higher grades are in the hands of the ministers, so there will be abuses. The whole system must be reviewed and revamped .

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