Sabu’s smelling roses compared to those crooked UMNO Ministers


August 5, 2018

Sabu’s smelling roses compared to those crooked UMNO Ministers at Defence Ministry

by Phar Kim Beng@www.malaysiakini.com

Image result for Mat Sabu as pilot

Dapper looking Mat Sabu

COMMENT | It is odd that former premier Najib Razak has reportedly called Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu a “joker,” who talks about “fish curry” while on board a warship.

Having lost the 14th general election (GE14) badly on May 9 and is now caught in a legal imbroglio over 1MDB and potentially many “mini 1MDBs,” the last thing Najib wants to be doing is to cast the first proverbial stone in a glass house.

Imagine the shards of glass that will come crashing down. In fact, the cracks are already there to see.

The Defence Ministry has been helmed twice by Najib. No one has had that privilege. Not “King Ghaz,” the late Ghazali Shafie, who is known as a foreign policy maestro.

Not even Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the Seventh Prime Minister, who is known to take the bulls by the horns; as he did when he ripped UMNO and PAS apart in GE-14.

A double stint of Najib, therefore, should have allowed the Defence Ministry to stay clear from any unfortunate controversial issues. Yet, neither tenure did, despite a combined service of some 14 years clocked by Najib.

In fact, when one is in the military barracks, there are jokes galore about the ineptness of Najib but potentially Hishammuddin Hussein too, his cousin, who too donned the mantle of Defence Minister.

Image result for hishamuddin tun hussein at Lahad Datu

The Joker of Lahad Datu–Hishamuddin Hussein

Wasn’t the latter who tweeted that the terrorists in Lahad Datu were clad in “slippers” and “sarongs,” and not to be deemed a threat?

Yet precisely a day later the terrorists went on a rampage, resulting in the first armed invasion of Malaysia since the end of Konfrontasi in 1965. Najib and Hisham, for the lack of better word, appeared to have muck things up when they were at the top of the food chain.

If the joke is on Mat Sabu, so far still a well-regarded Defence Minister, Najib has to be mindful of his legacy both as a Defence and Prime Minister. They reek of indolence (the lack of oversight) and insolence insofar as basic supervision is needed.

Indeed, what the ministry faces now is a litany of issues that remain unresolved. Be it the French submarine Scorpene scandal, or the plea of Shaariibuu Setev that the murder case of his daughter, Altantuya, be reinstated (for a thorough reinvestigation), the echoes from the past seem unrelenting.

Cancer of corruption

If one cares to listen, the cancer of corruption has seeped deepest into the marrows of the ministry. A tile at a military hospital, for example, can allegedly come at a quote of RM13,000, according to reliable sources. Drugs and pharmaceuticals that are supplied to the hospital are allegedly 300 percent more expensive than the regular tender.

If the invoices of these items are compared side by side with other genuine tenders, it would expose the scams and more shenanigans that have manifested in cooking the books.

The best services at such hospitals go the military supremos and top guns, and not the rank and file, who bore the scars of their service.

Indeed, contracts and tenders that are non-competitive have given to the same company over and over. For example, when a tender requires eight items to be scrutinized or supplied, those companies with close political connections to the previous regime continue to win the bids time and again, even though they offer nine of 10 exhibits, thus inflating the cost and breaching the terms of the tender.

Image result for Najib as Minister of Defence

The legacy of Najib appears to be anything but spotless. Thus Mat Sabu is right that Najib has tried to “hit him below the belt” by choosing to raise the issue outside of the Parliament.

If Najib wants to critique the Defence Ministry, an institution that can be redeemed by Amanah, he better find a stronger excuse than hurling abuse at Sabu.


PHAR KIM BENG is a Harvard/Cambridge Commonwealth Fellow, a former Monbusho scholar at the University of Tokyo and visiting scholar at Waseda University.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

 

3 thoughts on “Sabu’s smelling roses compared to those crooked UMNO Ministers

  1. Who is the fool -the one who cooked curry or the one who continue to act like a snob despite long track record of scandals and collosal failures??? Sabu may be no elegant genius perhaps too unpretentious but he is a patriot, humble and no idiot. He cannot do worst than over entitled pretentious Najib

  2. Remember the days when Malaysian helicopters were dropping like flies from the air? Was revealed later that the original spare parts were replaced by cheap parts that do not conform to specs. Have any of those corrupted generals and minister being charged? Presume only the Minister of Defence can authorise the release of C4 plastic explosives from their inventory. If it’s for national defence it’s OK but not for taking out an enemy of the minister.

  3. Cancer of corruption

    If one cares to listen, the cancer of corruption has seeped deepest into the marrows of the ministry. A tile at a military hospital, for example, can allegedly come at a quote of RM13,000, according to reliable sources. Drugs and pharmaceuticals that are supplied to the hospital are allegedly 300 percent more expensive than the regular tender. If the invoices of these items are compared side by side with other genuine tenders, it would expose the scams and more shenanigans that have manifested in cooking the books. The best services at such hospitals go the military supremos and top guns, and not the rank and file, who bore the scars of their service. Indeed, contracts and tenders that are non-competitive have given to the same company over and over. For example, when a tender requires eight items to be scrutinized or supplied, those companies with close political connections to the previous regime continue to win the bids time and again, even though they offer nine of 10 exhibits, thus inflating the cost and breaching the terms of the tender.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Reading the above and together with what has been exposed in other Federal/State Level Agencies one may even ask the various Ministries/Agencies’ appointed and stationed there Internal Auditors-Integrity/MACC Officers and those from Office of the Auditor General to explain whether they were aware of these suspected financial ‘plundering’ and what action they took to highlight this rape of country’s finances?

    My concern is more on lack of action by relevant TOP LEVEL AUTHORITIES on the findings in respect of suspected MISMANAGEMENT-FRAUD-CORRUPTION-COLLUSION-CRONYISM-EMBEZZLEMENT-BRIBERY-KICKBACKS-NEPOTISM [‘MFCCCEBKN’] cases as highlighted in the reports of AudGen whose findings remain in the files for decades and the position may be little different even on cases which were reported to have been subjected to investigations by PAC or even those reported to be investigated by MACC also appear to rarely see conclusion.
    Even the print-cyber-social media has shown little interest in highlighting or MONITORING STATUS of EXPOSED cases SUSPECTED of ‘MFCCCEBKN’. May be AudGen-MACC should provide periodical STATUS REPORTS of FINDINGS and/or EXPOSED to be forwarded to the PH Govt Leaders and MPs-ADUNs-MEDIA (who should publish) -Radio/TV (who should highlight) as then social media can then also play their part to bring about the needed changes with the hope that those involved in ‘MFCCCEBKN’ acts are made accountable and brought to justice. As it is some under investigations and/or still under suspension continue enjoying benefits due to civil service officials while some charged being FREE ON BAIL pending finalization of their cases.
    This can be a LITMUS TEST for AudGen-MACC-PH GOVT of New Malaysia and Media and not just a FLASH IN THE PAN as is the saying NEW BROOM SWEEPS but then all is forgotten and status quo continues.

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