Former Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s explanation regarding the issue of army deployment to support the Arab Alliance’s military operations has raised even more questions, claimed the National Patriots Association (Patriot).
- Did the NSC authorise the deployment?
- Where was it stipulated in the NSC Act that the council was empowered to deploy forces overseas?
- Has the Cabinet or Parliament no role in sanctioning troops deployment overseas?
- Can the Armed Forces chief’s committee not be consulted?
- What did Hishammuddin mean by saying that the information relating to the deployment must be declassified in the name of national interest?
Its president (Rtd) Datuk Mohamad Arshad Raji asked if Hishammuddin was implying that the National Security Council (NSC) had authorised the deployment of the troops overseas when he wanted the government to declassify NSC details in Ops Yemen 2.
“Patriot is of the view that the response by Hishammuddin is even more confusing. Is he saying that the Cabinet or Parliament has no role in sanctioning troops deployment overseas?
“Is he saying that the Armed Forces chief’s committee need not be consulted and can be skirted?” he questioned.
Arshad said Patriot was seeking the former minister to explain where in the NSC Act stipulated that the council was empowered to deploy forces overseas and be part of a force engaged in a war with another country.
“We believe Hishammuddin is confused when he did not mention that the Armed Forces chief’s committee has a definite role to advise the government relating to troop deployment overseas.”
The association also wanted Hishammuddin to explain what he meant by saying that the information relating to the deployment must be declassified in the name of national interest.
He said Patriot maintained that the troops’ deployment to assist Arab Alliance in Yemen was illegal because there was no sanction from the Cabinet and Parliament.
Yesterday, Hishammuddin wanted the government to declassify NSC details in Op Yemen 2 in order to find out the truth.
Hishammuddin was reported as saying that the deployment was a humanitarian mission led by the NSC as it was a matter of national security, concerning the safety of Malaysian citizens and students in war-torn Yemen.
“They (the government) said the blood is in my hands, but they didn’t explain the 767 students we saved in Yemen,” he was quoted as saying.
It was reported yesterday that the previous cabinet did not sanction the army’s role to provide logistical support for the Arab military pact. – NST