PETALING JAYA, 23 JAN: The culture of purchasing military equipment directly, without the practise of open tender, as practised by the Ministry of Defence (MinDef) should be changed to ensure that the country’s defence system is in a steady state.
The call was voiced by the former Deputy Lieutenant General (Rtd) Datuk Abdul Ghafir Abd Hamid who sees this culture as only bringing detriment to the country because it includes the increase of purchasing cost leading to the culture of leakages.
“Two big problems in MinDef’s culture of buying equipment (military) through direct negotiations. This involves too high a cost.
“For example the price (of equipment) is RM200 million, we buy it at (the price of) RM1 billion. There are too many hidden costs.
“This exposes it to corruption. This is not a good system and should be changed. Purchasing this way only benefits certain groups,” he said in a joint press conference with PKR Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
According to him, the effects from direct negotiations is that the country’s defence forces are not able to choose the most effective weapons.
What is more detrimental is that the country is not able to learn technological change which is introduced by the countries concerned.
As an example, Pakistan was able to develop their own submarine technology after working together with France on the purchase of weapons that benefited both parties.
He explained that the dependence on arms purchases from abroad can result in the country having to bear high costs especially in the matter of finding and purchasing spare parts if the weapons are damaged.