Malaysia’s newly formed government will conduct its own internal probe and audit in regard to defense spending under the previous administration, the new Defense Minister Mohamad Sabu has said.
“We will investigate. If it is based on hearsay, it can have a negative effect on the image of individuals or departments. If there are (issues and scandals) with evidence obtained from detailed investigation and internal audits and, if necessary, we will use external audits, and if serious, we will take it to the Cabinet. We will not act wildly based on what we hear,” Sabu was quoted as saying in his first address to the press by Today Online Tuesday.
Mohamad said he needed to get the complete information of all Malaysian Armed Forces services before looking in detail at issues and scandals within the MAF, including the purchase of the Scorpene submarines as well as other issues which were raised by non-governmental organisations.
A former aide to Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Najib Razak was placed under formal investigation in August last year as part of an alleged kickbacks probe into purchase of two Scorpene submarines from French shipyard DCNS (now Naval group) in 2002.
The accused Razak Baginda, who was an advisor to Najib was arrested after Malaysian human rights group Suaram claimed that a commission of $130 million was being siphoned off to a company linked to Najib in the Eur 1 billion sale. Two French former defense industry executives were also placed under investigation as part of the same probe in September last year.