23 December, 2009


I refer to the recent controversy involving the theft of two (2) Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) fighter jet engines, which costs approximately RM50 million each if they were new.

The said theft of the RMAF fighter jet engines was alleged to have been committed somewhere in the year 2007.

Besides the said RMAF fighter jet engines, the Ministry of Defence was also reported yesterday as stating that there may be other related equipments missing.

To date, the Ministry of Defence and our Prime Minister, Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak had pledged that full investigation would be conducted on that matter and the appropriate legal action would be taken against the perpetrators, who were labeled as traitors to our country.

No doubt, the theft of national defence assets, irrespective of its value, amounts to an act of treason. These national defence assets are purchased to defend our country and financed by the people’s money.

However, it is suprising as to why the disappearance and theft of such large national defence assets were not highlighted in the Auditor General’s Annual Report for the year 2007 or even 2008. This incident had occurred in the year 2007 and the Ministry of Defence had also filed a police report on that matter in the same year, which would have alerted any auditing of the ministry’s assets.

Under Section 6(ba) of the Audit Act 1957, the nature of audit of the Auditor General includes examining whether due care has been taken to account for and to ensure proper use, control, maintenance and disposal of all public chattels and property of any such authority.

Section 9(5) of the Act provides that the Auditor General may in any report submitted in accordance with Article 107 (1) of the Federal Constitution (commonly known as the Auditor General’s Annual Report) make recommendations and may generally comment upon all matters relating to public chattels and property of any such authority.

In view of the nature of the disappearance of the large defence assets, the Auditor General should have made known these irregularities in its Annual Report, which are of public interest.

The Auditor General must explain why such irregularities involving large national defence assets and of public interest were not highlighted in the Auditor General’s Annual Report.

The government also should take steps to ensure that the Auditor General highlights any future irregular loss of national assets in the Auditor General’s Annual Report.