March 6, 2013
Lahad Datu Incursion: Ex-Army Chief rues lack of clear chain of command
by Hafiz Yatim@http://www.malaysiakini.com
There is no clear chain of command with regard to what is happening in Lahad Datu, says former army chief Gen (Rtd) Md Hashim Hussein.
When you have such a situation, Md Hashim said, there must be a clear command structure. “This is needed to coordinate the operations. Right now, I think it is not there,” he said.
However, Md Hashim (right), who retired in 2002, admitted that a clear assessment of the ground situation was needed.
In contrast, he said, the Sauk incident in Perak was resolved in four days, with the right personnel.
“We managed to resolve it due to a clear command structure, clear orders, clear control, plus we had the right troops for the task,” he said.
The retired general also warned the government against using information war to blackout incidents such as what was going on in Lahad Datu. “As for the information warfare that they use… What a tangled web we weave if we begin to deceive”.
Md Hashim also announced that he has officially joined PKR today and voiced his support for Pakatan Rakyat. Formerly Malaysia’s Ambassador to Pakistan, Md. Hashim said he is attracted to the leadership of Anwar Ibrahim, who was his schoolmate in the Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK).
“He has managed to harmonise Pakatan, all ethnic communities and Malaysia, and this is due to Anwar’s leadership quality,” he said.
“I find the Pakatan leaders have the right leadership qualities and can lead the country. I also verify the claims made by my former number two, Lt-Gen Abdul Ghafir Abdul Hamid, on the wastage and leakages in army spending,” he said.
‘Barracks and facilities in bad shape’
Md Hashim, who was first commander to the Malaysian batallion in Bosnia-Herzogovina, said he had gone to some of the army camps up north to verify the claims made by Abdul Ghafir. He said he had seen that army conditions are indeed in a bad shape, including their homes, barracks, washroom and also armaments.
“There was a former senior Air Force officer that reminded that there were no proper spare parts for aircraft, however, this person had been admonished by the (BN) politicians,” he claimed.
Md Hashim said he expected to receive brickbats for voicing his support for Pakatan, but assured that he had carefully thought about the matter after discussing with some of his former officers.
The former top army personnel said that the Pakatan leadership had been coercing him to make an appearance, and he thinks that there was a need to strategise his entrance into the party to bring the desired impact.
Over the past few weeks, several former armed forces top guns had voiced their support towards Pakatan. Abdul Ghafir had even pledged, during a Pakatan convention, that the army will ensure a smooth transition should the Opposition come into power after the general election.