Is Zahid acting as a precursor for Anwar trampling PM?

Defense Minister Dato’ Seri Zahid Hamidi made another ‘explosive’ statement, with regards to the Armed Forces again. This time, he alleged that MINDEF officials which include Armed Forces personnel were ‘selling out’ information to the foreign embassies, on behalf of their respective government’s interest in Malaysia’s defense.

The Star has the story:

Published: Thursday February 4, 2010 MYT 10:54:00 AM
Updated: Thursday February 4, 2010 MYT 12:38:03 PM

Defence Ministry secrets being leaked (Updated)

By IZATUN SHAARI

KUALA LUMPUR: Internal sources within the Armed Forces have been found to be leaking Defence Ministry secrets to a foreign embassy in the country, claimed its minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi.

Issuing a stern warning to the individuals responsible, he added that the ministry would not compromise with such practices which violate the Official Secrets Act 1972.

Zahid said he would meet the Prime Minister to discuss the matter soon before making a more detailed announcement.

“I don’t want anyone at any position to sell information to external parties. I will make an announcement after meeting the Prime Minister regarding the information that was leaked to a foreign embassy, which allegedly used internal sources,” he told newsmen after his ministry’s monthly gathering and launch of its blood donation campaign here Thursday.

Zahid said the alleged information leakage was discovered following investigations by the ministry’s intelligence corps.

He said after receiving the information, the intelligence corps worked closely with the police to carry out further investigations.

Hopefully, he said foreign defence attaches would carry out their duties according to set guidelines.

“I hope no one will take advantage of their positions in this country to carry out unethical activities.”

On whether the alleged individuals were selling information about the country’s defence, he said: “I believe they have been paid.”

On how long such a practice had been going on, he declined to elaborate, saying that: “I will announce later.”

He said the intelligence corps had been monitoring such practices and previously, tens of lower rank officers had been arrested and charged in the military and civil courts.

Earlier in his speech at the monthly gathering, he said civil servants including Armed Forces personnel were bound by the Official Secrets Act and if they leak information, they could be charged under the law.

“Don’t be enticed into exposing highly confidential information or official secrets for your own interest,” he said, adding that this could ultimately affect the country’s security and subsequently weaken its defence capability.

On another development, he said the ministry had forwarded an application for military personnel’s salary rise to the Public Service Department following the announcement on the new salary scheme and allowances for police sergeants and below.

He said the department was now carrying out a detailed study on the matter.

“I was informed that when the economic situation starts to show signs of full recovery, special consideration will be given to military personnel’s pay hike. I hope they can remain patient,” he added.

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This is a serious allegation, even as a reminder to MINDEF monthly meeting. How true and the extend of the problem, if real, is yet to be determined. However, Zahid’s intention has casted a lot of doubts.

This is the second time Zahid went into the limelight of media attention, with regards to controversial issues that looms the Armed Forces. A few weeks ago, Zahid announced the theft of the spare F 5E engines, which was already under Police investigations. The erratic information management that preceed the announcement was also embarassing. It attracted a lot of criticism to a point where the credibility of the Armed Forces was eroded down to a record low.

His intention of making these controversial announcements against the MINDEF, Armed Forces even the Federal Government at large is not clear. However, it is a perfect opportunity for the ‘Pandora’s Box’ to be opened, especially in the angle where the Oppositions are running really low on credibility and support.  The appropriateness of making this latest announcement is questionable and ultra sensitive issues with regards to espionage and counter measures against it are not discussed in the open, let alone as a media statement. There are other ways of dealing with this, especially without insulting officers of His Majesty’s Armed Forces.

Zahid was appointed Minister of Defense in the April 2009 Cabinet reshuffle, where Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak presented his new Federal Government line up after taking over from PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Within the nine months in office, he made these controversial disclosures in the spirit of ‘transparency’. He also made some strategic decision to hive off the MiG 29Ns superiority fighter squadron, where many defense analysts question his real motive and the direct effect on the defense of the realm.

In July at the Paris Air Show, out of protocol Zahid met up with Israeli Defense Minister and former Prime Minister Ehud Barak in a deemed highly controversial engagement. Barak was the Israeli Defense Minister during the seize of Gaza and West Bank and Malaysia do not have  diplomatic relations with the Zionist state.

Obviously, Zahid’s decision is to ‘shame’ PM Dato’ Seri Najib. Being a veteran defense minister for the third term, these announcements that Zahid is making is indirectly backlashing against his Boss’s credibility and at a point, integrity. It is as if Zahid is simply giving ‘bullets’ for the Oppositions, who are currently plagued with a lot of internal and intra-party issues and near ‘bankrupt’ with political materials to work on.

Zahid was one time Partyless-Opposition-Leader Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim’s henchman. He was Anwar’s man taking over from Tan Sri Rahim Thamby Chik as UMNO Youth Leader when the latter was plagued with personal issues. Zahid is remembered for his ‘Cronyism and Nepotism’ speech at the UMNO Youth Annual Assembly opening address in 1998. When Anwar was sacked from Cabinet and UMNO in early September 1998 and subsequently launched the mobstreet-personal-agenda-deemed-political movement ‘Reformasi’ and along with other Anwaristas, Zahid was arrested  a few days late by the Police Special Branch whilst in Kota Kinabalu and held under Emergency Ordinance.

A few months ago, Zahid created a ruckus within UMNO circle when he announced in a pro-Khairy Jamaluddin UMNO Youth pow-wow in Janda Baik that if he ever becomes Prime Minister, he would summarily appoint the highly controversial UMNO Youth Leader as a Cabinet Minister. Many analyst see this as Zahid’s endorsement of UMNO Youth ‘pressure’ on PM Dato’ Seri Najib for a Cabinet appointment, especially as the BN Youth Chairman, Khairy was purposely isolated out from the Cabinet as compared to UMNO Youth Deputy Head Dato’ Razali Ibrahim, Wanita MCA Head Dato’ Paduka Chew Mei Fun, MCA Youth Head Dato’ Wee Ka Siong and Gerakan Wanita Head Dato’ Tan Lian Hoe.

Many believed that as a ‘mole’, Zahid is ‘acting’ as precursor for Anwar and the Oppositions to trampled PM Najib’s Government and Leadership, which has started to gain momentum from the all-time low record of PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah’s regime and ‘dis-integration’ of Pakatan Rakyat which also involved Anwar’s personal problems.

PM Dato’ Seri Najib should seriously consider to remove Zahid from the Cabinet before more damage is done, along with other PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah’s relics such as Dato’ Seri Nazri Aziz, Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yackop, Dato’ Khaled Nordin and Dato’ Johari Baharom. This consideration against Zahid should also include the Police case against him alleging beating up a young man in 2007.

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Published in: on February 4, 2010 at 13:25  Comments (27)