Serious leak of army secret, says Patriot after NST report on new chief

Mohamed Arshad Raji says the Ministry of Defence must investigate the breach of a confidential document involving the armed forces.

PETALING JAYA: A group of former senior army officers has urged the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) to investigate a report in a local daily on the possible appointment of former armed forces chief Gen Zulkifli Zainal Abidin, saying it was based on a confidential document embargoed by the Armed Forces Council (AFC).

National Patriots Association (Patriot) president Brig Gen (Ret) Mohamed Arshad Raji said the papers related to Zulkifli’s appointment, a former head of the Malaysian army, had yet to be presented to the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong for his consent.

“This is a serious breach of the confidentiality of the AFC papers and Patriot urges Mindef to fully investigate this incident,” he said.

He warned that if such a leak could take place, there could also be breaches of “other secret defence papers”.

The New Straits Times reported yesterday that Zulkifli’s appointment had been approved by AFC on Thursday, to replace Gen Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor who retires on June 20 after holding the post for five years.

Arshad, who is part of a committee on institutional reforms under Putrajaya’s Council of Eminent Persons, also rejected suggestions on social media that his group had a hand in Zulkifli’s appointment.

“Patriot would like to categorically state that it is not true. Patriot made no such recommendation,” he said.