Call for external investigation on the disappearance of a RM 50 million F-5E fighter engine
It is time for the establishment of an external inquiry, either in the form of a Parliamentary Select Committee or a Royal Commission, into the disappearance of a RM 50 million F-5E fighter engine.
Despite Minister of Defence Dato Seri Zahid Hamidi promising to “leave no stone unturned”, a grossly inadequate internal inquiry is being proposed.
Internal inquiries in this country notoriously ensure that the chain of responsibility does not extend beyond low-ranking scapegoats. According to the Minister, “investigations revealed RMAF’s logistics system was foolproof. However, the shady activity might have been carried out by staff in the lower rungs in cahoots with outsiders.”
The F-5E fighter jet engine worth about RM50 million went missing from the Matra 1 Warehouse at the Sungai Besi Airbase in 2007. The service and maintenance record of the engine was also reported missing, and is believed to have been sold to another party in Europe.
An external inquiry is required not only to determine the details of this shocking incident but also to uncover the conditions in our armed forces that allowed this to happen. An external inquiry would reveal where accountability for such an incident should fall so appropriate action can be taken against those responsible.
The implications of this case strike at the heart of the security sector of the nation. No one knows how many other military assets are stolen in this manner. This fighter jet engine could just be the tip of the iceberg.
The external inquiry must also determine whether or not the fighter jet engine and other military assets are transferred to undesirable parties including Iran, potentially posing dangerous global consequences.