Probe takeover of AES operations, say ex-servicemen

Patriot president Brig-Gen (Rtd) Mohamed Arshad Raji says the Armed Forces Fund Board should use its authority and ownership of its vast business empire to take care of the welfare of service personnel and veterans. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The National Patriots Association (Patriot) is demanding authorities probe the takeover of the Automated Enforcement System (AES) which saw the use of funds from the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT), through its subsidiary Irat Properties.

Patriot president Brig-Gen (Rtd) Mohamed Arshad Raji said it was shocked to learn that the government had ordered LTAT to pay RM555mil to take over the assets from two companies, Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd and ATES Sdn Bhd.

The assets mostly comprised 40 AES cameras along the highways.

The NGO, which comprises ex-servicemen and retired police officers, said the Malaysian-Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) and the police must immediately “spring into action” and not wait for reports on the matter.

Arshad also demanded to know who are the owners of the two concessionaires.

“And why did the LTAT managing director and the board of directors allow the RM555 million to be taken from the fund?

“The LTAT was set up primarily to take care of the welfare of servicemen and manage their retirement benefits. When funds of the LTAT are utilised in such a manner, it is a criminal breach of trust,” he said in a statement.

Last week Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the payment system to the two companies were lopsided and it had received a public backlash. The two private companies received RM16 for each summons issued as well as 50% of the fines collected.

Following the backlash, the Barisan Nasional (BN) government took over the two firms in 2015, using funds from LTAT.

The Pakatan Harapan government has since agreed to refund LTAT.

Arshad went on to slam the actions of LTAT’s managing director and board of directors, saying that even if they were taking instructions from the head of government, their conduct was “dishonourable, unacceptable and a betrayal of trust”.

He said in the command structure of the security forces, top leaders or commanders take good care of the welfare of their men and protect their safety.

And in return, those under their command risk their lives in dangerous missions.

“As LTAT is closely related to the military and under the jurisdiction of the defence ministry, the corporate leaders of LTAT are expected to abide by the norms of the military establishment.”

Arshad then urged LTAT to use its authority and ownership of its vast business empire to take care of the welfare of service personnel and veterans, such as providing employment opportunities, on-the-job training and scholarships for their children.

LTAT currently owns 59.4% of Boustead Holdings Bhd.