PETALING JAYA: Veterans group National Patriots Association (Patriot) has urged former defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein to take responsibility over the non-delivery of six helicopters worth RM300 million despite about one-third of the payment made, some five months after a report was lodged with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate the deal.
“Since the contract was sealed by the previous government, it is imperative for the previous defence minister and all officials associated with the procurement to assume responsibility for the dereliction of duty,” said Patriot president Arshad Raji.
The group said it was baffled with the speed with which the contract was completed — in 18 months with delivery expected in less than two years.
“It would appear that this was an off-the-shelf procurement where the six helicopters were all lined up to be sold. This procurement has been flawed from the outset,” Arshad said.
On Friday, Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said the government may go to court if the six helicopters were still not delivered.
The defence ministry had lodged a report with MACC in June. There has been no word on the status of the investigation.
This followed a revelation by FMT in May that the six McDonnell Douglas MD530 lightweight combat helicopters had not been delivered, after being purchased through an agent linked to a senior defence ministry official.
The company’s dealership rights were however terminated by the US manufacturer, MD Helicopters.
It was revealed that RM112.65 million had been paid in advance.
Arshad asked if the army really needed the six helicopters and whether there was logistic support to maintain it.
“Action must be taken against wrongdoers no matter how high their positions are, including those who have retired from the civil service and from the military,” he said.