The Appointment Of The 21st Chief Of Defence Forces

I would like to congratulate General Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Haji Affendi Buang on his appointment as the 21st Chief of the Defence Forces of the Malaysian Armed Forces.

The new appointment is undoubtedly historic given that he is the first son of Sarawak to hold this post and only the second Chief of Air Force to do so.

I would also like to thank the outgoing CDF, General Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Panglima Haji Zulkifli Zainal Abidin for his 41 years of service to the nation.

I am confident that the MAF will continue to go from strength to strength under its new leadership.

NIK NAZMI NIK AHMAD
Chair, Special Select Committee on Defence and Home Affairs
Setiawangsa Member of Parliament

The Appointment Of The 21st Chief Of Defence Forces

I would like to congratulate General Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Haji Affendi Buang on his appointment as the 21st Chief of the Defence Forces of the Malaysian Armed Forces.

The new appointment is undoubtedly historic given that he is the first son of Sarawak to hold this post and only the second Chief of Air Force to do so.

I would also like to thank the outgoing CDF, General Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Panglima Haji Zulkifli Zainal Abidin for his 41 years of service to the nation.

I am confident that the MAF will continue to go from strength to strength under its new leadership.

NIK NAZMI NIK AHMAD
Chair, Special Select Committee on Defence and Home Affairs
Setiawangsa Member of Parliament

What Did Hishamuddin Do To Address The Problems Of LTAT During His Time?

WHAT DID HISHAMUDDIN DO TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS OF LTAT DURING HIS TIME?

The lowest-ever dividend of 2% announced by the Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) is disappointing but an unfortunate consequence of years of alleged mismanagement and irregularities.

The problems it faces are not a recent phenomenon, but rather the result of the omissions and malfeasance of the past.

What is needed are concrete measures to strengthen the LTAT and hence the welfare of our heroic armed forces personnel.

It is hence extremely disappointing that the Sembrong MP and former Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein is playing politics by blaming the Pakatan Harapan Federal Government for the lower dividends.

He has inexplicably chosen to ignore the results of an audit by Ernst & Young which found, among other things, that LTAT’s earnings were affected by the overpayment of dividends in previous years. Indeed, its five-year asset returns from the financial years 2014 to 2018 (after excluding one-off gains) were lower than the declared dividend rates.

In effect, the LTAT had been paying dividends at higher rates than it could afford.
There’s no point for the previous administration’s defenders and enablers to crow about the supposed higher dividends of the past when they actually hurt the future of the LTAT as well as other funds.

The audit also found that LTAT had 88 condominium units worth RM45 million that had been unsold despite having been completed in 2015. Also, since 2014, LTAT was said to have become over-reliant on Boustead Holdings Bhd and its quoted subsidiaries (BHB Group). Indeed, it was alleged that LTAT’s exposure to BHB Group increased almost 50% from RM2.1 billion to RM3.1 billion.

The fact is that Hishammuddin was Minister of Defence from 2013 to 2018. These alleged irregularities and weaknesses—which significantly contributed to the LTAT’s current poor performance—happened under his watch as the Cabinet Minister tasked with administering of our Armed Forces.

What was he doing all those years?

Why had he done nothing to address the problems facing the LTAT?

And yet, he seeks to blame others for his own failures and shortcomings. What is worse is that he seeks to use the fate of Malaysia’s soldiers, sailors and airmen to give him political cover.

He should consider his own responsibility for the parlous state of the LTAT and the country as a whole before seeking to blame his successor, Mohamad Sabu.
In that period, Rafizi Ramli, the Pandan MP then had constantly warned the public about the problems facing the LTAT. He did so under great personal risk and cost.

This included exposing, in March 2016, a document classified under the Official Secrets Act (OSA), on the LTAT’s controversial dealings with the now-discredited 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The fact that the LTAT had in May 2018 withdrawn a lawsuit it had filed against Rafizi is proof that the concerns he had raised about the Board at the time were justified and indeed, vindicated.

The current management of the LTAT must continue the reforms it has proposed as well as work closely with the Federal Government to better ensure the wellbeing of our Armed Forces personnel.

NIK NAZMI NIK AHMAD
KEADILAN CHIEF ORGANISING SECRETARY
KEADILAN CENTRAL LEADERSHIP COUNCIL MEMBER
SETIAWANGSA MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

Do Not Belittle The Role Of The Armed Forces

I am in complete agreement with the 13 August 2019 statement by the Deputy Minister of Defence, YB Senator Liew Chin Tong on the role of Malaysia’s Armed Forces.
As I have stressed on many occasions, the one and only job of Malaysia’s serving men and women should be to defend our country and its people.
It is also certainly not true, as some have allegedly claimed,
The statement by Koon Yew Yin that that our military personnel are “…doing nothing except eating and sleeping,” does not only belittle the role of our soldiers but is entirely untrue.
I take note of his statement of apology.
Proposals to use our military for political or extraneous purposes should be firmly rejected.
The country does not need unsolicited, hare-brained ideas on how to utilise its armed forces.
Rather, what is needed is wise policies and public support to maintain and upgrade their professionalism; as well as to ensure the welfare of the men and women who keep our nation safe.

NIK NAZMI NIK AHMAD
KEADILAN CHIEF ORGANISING SECRETARY
KEADILAN CENTRAL LEADERSHIP COUNCIL MEMBER
SETIAWANGSA MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

Welcoming The Re-Opening Of Purchase Of Submarines

There have been media reports that the authorities have re-opened investigations into the controversial 2002 purchase of the two French Scorpene submarines.

This highly-welcome development vindicates years of work—not only by Pakatan Harapan figures—but also members of the media and civil society, who sought to expose the truth about the deals in the face of great adversity.

If the case has indeed been re-opened, the authorities must carry out the new investigations with all due dispatch and charge any party they believe is guilty of wrongdoing.

Moreover, the Pakatan Harapan government should recommit itself to ensuring greater transparency and accountability when it comes to defence and indeed, all forms of government procurement.

It should identify, publicise and implement measures to ensure that our taxpayer ringgits are not wasted and that our serving men and women are adequately equipped to defend our land.

The sorry, sordid saga of the Scorpene submarines should never be repeated again.

NIK NAZMI NIK AHMAD
PAKATAN HARAPAN YOUTH LEADER
KEADILAN CENTRAL LEADERSHIP COUNCIL MEMBER
SETIAWANGSA MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

Hishamuddin’s Claims Born Out Of Desperation And Prejudice

Defence Minister Hishamuddin Hussein claimed that certain parties are using so-called ‘foreign powers’ against UMNO-Barisan Nasional.

This attack is merely born out of desperation and prejudice.

This is a serious allegation and should not be used merely to shore up vested interests.

We are not the ones closing down military bases and selling the land to foreign parties. We are not giving exclusive rights to foreign powers to develop important infrastructure.

I am confident that Malaysian voters will be able to judge for themselves who is really acting against the nation.

NIK NAZMI NIK AHMAD
PAKATAN HARAPAN YOUTH LEADER
PARTI KEADILAN RAKYAT YOUTH LEADER