The government's special investigation committee on procurement, governance and finance commenced its first probe into the Defence Ministry today, said its chairperson Ambrin Buang.
He said the committee, which was set up by the cabinet on May 30, had begun the inquiry upon request by Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu himself.
"Our jurisdiction is extensive, although we have been asked to initiate an investigation into the Ministry of Defence, it does not mean that the other ministries do not fall under this jurisdiction.
"We will discuss on which other ministries to investigate based on the information presented to us," he told a press conference in Putrajaya today.
Ambrin also announced the names of the committee members, comprising former Malaysian Institute of Accountants president Samad Alias, and former Rural and Regional Development Ministry secretary-general Mohd Tap Salleh.
The others are National Integrity and Governance Department director-general Anis Yusal Yusoff, former director of audit in the National Audit Department Ong Swee Leng, advocate and solicitor Zulqarnain Lukman and Finance Ministry representative Rosli Yaakub, who will head the committee's secretariat.
The investigation committee will focus on suspect dealings in all ministries besides recommending measures to stop leakages, Ambrin said, adding that the committee would begin by looking into several projects under the Ministry of Defence.
Meanwhile, Ambrin insisted that the committee's role would not overlap with that of the National Audit Department, as the latter had to present its report to Parliament, while the proceedings of the committee would only be presented to the cabinet for further action.
"The establishment of this committee is for special auditing, which is different from the audit conducted by the National Audit Department," he said.
He said the committee would report to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the cabinet but no time frame was given as it would depend on the investigation process.
Ambrin said the committee would also call any former minister or deputy minister to assist in the investigations if required.