Mindef Denies Any Wrongdoing in Flying Mat Sabu on Military Plane

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The Defence Ministry has denied any wrongdoing in flying its newly-minted minister on a military airplane for an official event.

Defence Ministry’s defence:

  • Breaking fast cum official meet-and-greet RMAF personnel event
  • Use of plane served to complete flying hours for RMAF pilots who flew it
  • Provide exposure to minister on the capability, performance, credibility of the plane

“RMAF (Royal Malaysia Air Force) chief Jen Tan Sri Affendi Buang had invited Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu to a breaking fast event, as well as a meet-and-greet with the men at the Butterworth airbase.

“This event is a yearly affair for the RMAF and it also served as the first official meet between RMAF personnel and the minister,” the Defence Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

It added that similar visits would be made with the Army and Navy in the near future.

“The use of the A400M airplane also served to complete flying hours for the RMAF pilots who flew it. This is because all pilots have to complete a certain number of hours to maintain their level of competency.

“The use of a military plane also saves cost and time as compared to the use of commercial aircraft,” it said.

Affendi added that the purpose of flying Mohamad on the A400M was also to provide exposure to the minister on the capability, performance, and credibility of the plane.

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On Monday, lawyer Datuk Abu Backer Sidek Mohamad Zan lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over Mohamad’s purported misuse of military assets.

Backer had claimed that Mohamad’s use of the aircraft was a waste of public money and unnecessary due to the country’s debt level, and that it was just an excuse for the minister to visit his hometown in Tasek Gelugor.

He also claimed that the RMAF had organised the breaking-of-fast event to justify the trip.

He further alleged that the fly-in to Butterworth in a military plane was likely a form of “ampu” (flattery) by the generals, claiming that they were courting Mohamad to extend their contracts as they neared retirement.