SHAH ALAM: Standard Fiream. Its appears that the Colt M4 Carbine is the standard firearm for the government with the latest user being, the Customs Department. The department bought 100 M4A1 Carbines for RM891,500 on Aug. 26. 2015.
Unfortunately as the police have not issued the licenses for the carbines, these automatic weapons remained in storage with (unnamed) distributor, according to the 2017 Auditor Generals Report.
The M4s are part of 659 firearms bought by the Customs between 2014 and 2015 costing some RM2.80 million. The other firearms purchased were 40 CZ Scorpion 3A1 submachine guns, and handguns – Glocks and CZ pistols.
Apart from the M4 Carbines (in 5.56mm) another 204 firearms remained in storage – likely including 40 CZ Scorpion sub-machineguns and the Glock and CZ handguns – as Customs had failed to obtain the licenses for them, says the AG report.
While the licenses for the handguns are under process – each must be approved individually, by the state police chiefs as mandated by the Firearms Act – it appears that there is an impasse on distribution of the M4 and the Scorpion to Customs officers.
Customs purchased these automatic weapons on its interpretation of a government gazette that allowed their issuance to its officers – under the authority of its directors at the headquarters, state including Labuan and training institute level . However, the police is saying that only the custom’s director, state director including Labuan and the training institute could be armed with the automatic weapons.
The AG report says that the Customs is appealing to the police though as off December last year, Customs have yet to distribute most of the firearms to the assigned officers tasked with enforcement duties. it must be noted that the AG report stated that they believed that the Customs had failed to adhere to the law for purchasing the firearms without getting the licenses from the police as mandated by the law.
Apart from the Customs travails, the AG report also highlighted the delay in completing the facilities at two Army camps, Kem Batu 10 Kuantan and Kem Sunggala, Port Dickson. The report did not say anything on the work at Kem Lapangan Terbang, Sungai Petani, Kedah although it stated that the camp was also to be equipped with new facilities from garages and other facilities as part of the procurement of the Gempita 8X8 vehicles for the Army.
As you are aware the camps are those of the 1 Kor Armor Di Raja, 2 Kor Armor Di Raja and Batalion ke 19, Askar Melayu Di Raja. Even though all three units already received their Gempitas – 118 units delivered as off April, 2018 – the facilities at the Kuantan and Port Dickson remained incomplete as off, December, 2017.
The report says due to the incomplete work, both units had to store their vehicles in current facilities and the units had also to store essential equipment in other buildings. It must be noted that as the end users, the Defence Ministry and Army could not be faulted for the debacle as the awards of the projects and responsibility rested with the Public Works Department and the Works Ministry.
It must also be noted that the procurement of new assets are not limited to the equipment but also new facilities to accomodate them. Hence the procurement cost is just one part of the equation.
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