Patriot calls for deputy minister’s resignation over military contract to alleged crony

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Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (Patriot) has called for a deputy minister to resign over an RM854 million military contract to supply self-propelled howitzers (SPH) for the army, which allegedly is in the process of being awarded to a crony company.

In a statement, Patriot president Mohamed Arshad Raji also demanded that Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein explain if he was aware of the alleged cronyism.

“Was he (the deputy minister) actively involved in securing the contract?

“In all likelihood, he must have been fully aware. After all, as the deputy minister one would expect that he would be responsible enough to check all aspects before dobby marking the deal.

“Patriot believes it is only right that he resigns from his post for being morally and ethically wrong and compromised in his action,” Arshad said.

Yesterday, PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli issued a statement claiming that the company lobbying to get a direct tender for the SPH contract is the crony of a deputy minister.

Azman Ghani/The Star

According to Rafizi, checks on company registration records and investigations showed that those involved in the company are also in business with two of the deputy minister’s close family members.

Malaysiakini has contacted the deputy minister and the company involved for a response to Rafizi’s claims. All names are being withheld in the meantime.

Arshad wants Hishammuddin to clarify to what extent he is in the know on the matter.

“Patriot further demands from Hishamuddin whether he too was in the dark or was it yet another case of our proverbial ‘tutup satu mata’ (closing an eye).

“If the defence minister had known about it and kept silent, he would then be complicit in this gross cheat.

“How much more must patriotic citizens who are hell-bent on building an ethical nation put up with?” Arshad added.

The retired army brigadier general pointed to a recent corruption scandal involving military contracts, which he said also had hints of cronyism and nepotism.

Arshad also urged the government to be more serious in its defence procurement processes, and that no one linked to political leaders is allowed to be a party to any such government contracts. – Malaysiakini