Defence Procurement Oversight Committee

Johor Bahru MP Datuk Shahrir chaired the Public Accounting Committee which conduct a relatively mild investigations into Government projects and funding. Apart from its lack of power, the committee can only look into a project/funding after the money is gone.

With a lot of unproven allegations -mostly corruption – have been leveled against Mindef in the case of defence procurement and development projects. Many of these allegations cannot be proven but the record shows that govt money have been wasted in these projects.

The NGPV, the MD-3 and countless development project left abandoned are only a small proof of such wastage.

An independent oversight committee which oks any procurement and development project would probably be able to prevent wastage and possibly graft.

The committee should be given the power to vet any new contract whether procurement or development project before it is signed.

For example, if the Army wanted to buy tanks, the top brass must convinced the committee that the vehicles meet its own requirement, the vendor was selected for the right reasons; the contract is value-for money and the other specifications from local technology transfer and how the contract is paid (cash or in the case of Malaysia usually paid via commodities).

The committee should decide whether it is cheaper to pay by cash rather than barter trade.

The wasteful requirement for local manufacture must be examined exhaustively.

For example, the decision to assemble the Adnan (pix below) and Pinzgauer locally. Based on recent events, it appear that the local manufacturing did not help Malaysia defence industry to prosper outside the the original contract.

The local manufacturer did not get a single contract to export these vehicles. Same thing happen to SME (Styer AUG manufacturer) and its more unfortunate, sister company, SME Aviation.

An oversight committee would save us millions from defence procurement and development projects that could be used to purchase more weapons.

And not into the pockets of greedy people, who hide behind the two most used words in the country “National Security”

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