(F5E jet fighters are considered obsolete in the current jet age but it is still part of our air defence system – no one should forget about that! Image source: http://cdn-www.airliners.net)
I guess when one is digging through a pile of crap; it is only going to get nasty…
As we know by know – RMAF’s F5E fighter jet engine has been missing and the Government is now doing massive damage control due to national (does threat to national security rings a bell?) and international implications (perhaps under illegal shipments of military hardware?).
The PM and the Defence Minister have repeated said that there is no cover-up and the police is “seriously” investigating. Good luck to them especially if those engines have left the country, the relevant paperworks have been destroyed and the real culprits have disappeared.
Then we have this: –
Not one but two jet-fighter engines, each worth RM50 million, were stolen from the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) base in Sungai Besi.
Both engines served as power plants to the F-5E Tiger II fighter and RF-5E Tigereye reconnaissance jets.
Looks like we did not lose 1 but 2 jet engines and we are seriously wondering whether this is just a tip of the iceberg?
Then it gets better with this
It was learnt that the engines were sold to arms dealers on the black market.
Intelligence reports suggested the engines were later transported to a US-sanctioned Middle Eastern country that was keen on developing its own fighter jet
With this, Malaysia would be a tempting choice for many of the US controlled blacklist lists (perhaps one on who is assisting terrorists and rogue countries). Even though, it is a theft (and not a willing sale & purchase), Malaysia’s reputation has been grossly tarnished.
Malay Mail reports:-
The US has maintained an arms embargo on Iran since the Islamic revolution in 1979. The source said the US, which has been notified of the engine theft, would have found out about any delivery to Iran and would have imposed sanctions on Malaysia for violating the arms embargo.
The sources said as far as they knew, the US has not placed any restrictions on the sale of items, military or dual-purpose, on Malaysia.
Are we suppose to be happy that the US (and its allies) have yet to place any restrictions on Malaysia? What about our own standards of being accountable and following the international agreed norms?
What had happened to the strict control of our most prized assets? And when we learned about the theft, did we act swiftly to nab the offenders and get the stolen items back in one piece? Or did we take the usual casual way of doing things whilst the criminals were busy cleaning their tracks?
CheguBard lists out the chronology of event in his blog: –
- 26Jun 2007 – enjin pertama dihantar keluar (the first engine shipped out)
- 1November 2007 – enjin kedua dihantar keluar (the second engine shipped out)
- Mei 2008 – enjin disedari hilang (it was realised that the engines were missing)
- 4 Ogos 2008 – laporan polis dibuat (police report made)
- 13 Mei 2009 – kertas siasatan dihantar kepada Peguam Negara (investigation papers sent to AG).
- 25 Jun 2009 – kertas siasatan dipulangkan dengan arahan untuk lengkapkan siasatan (investigation papers sent back with instruction to complete the investigation)
- 18 November 2009 – kertas siasatan dihantar semula (investigation papers re-sent)
Interesting timeline, isn’t it?
In 2007, when the first and second engine was stolen, the Minister in charge of Defence is none other than our current Prime Minister. Is this why, we did not hear about the stolen engines until late 2009? Why the “cover-up” for the past 2 years?
Malaysian Insider says:-
But yet Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak claims there is no cover up.
He was then Defence Minister in Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s Cabinet. He should have recommended then for the theft to be announced to the public.
Najib has allowed the issue to be kept under wraps for more than a year. In the eyes of the public that sounds like a cover up. The fact that a police report was lodged does not mean there was no cover up.
Also if you note the time when it was discovered the engines were missing and police report were made, it took them more than 2 months before deciding to make police report. Why the delay then? Was it because they been caught with their pants down and they do not know what to do?
What about those in charge of the matters at RMAF? If you think they been caught and court-marshalled for treason, think again.
Datuk A Kadir Jasin writes in his blog:-
Should we be happy and jump with joy at the news that a brigadier-general and 40 other armed forces personnel were sacked for alleged involvement in missing RMAF jet engines incident?
The New Straits Times headlined today that they were given the boot late last year after Air Force jet engines worth RM50 million went missing. Why alleged? What then is the “real” truth behind this dastardly, shameful, treacherous act?
Why only an internal inquiry? Why not a full-blown investigation and trial by a civil or military authority?
This is an act of treason. Why were they not court-martialed?
Can we feel more comfort that the necessary people in the Government will now be shameful of this act of treason and will now take stringent steps to avoid similar things from happening? Or it is going to be business as usual for the culprits?
If you remember, after fatal or wasteful or embarrassing national crisis, we have come up with many commissions, recommendations, warnings but the thing is how much of the so-called recommendations that we have actually implemented? Why then the repeated incidents?
Read TV Smith’s “For Every Reaction, There Is No Action” – can we put a stop to the “tidak apa” kind of attitude after this?
Can we get back the jet engines? Or our good names back?