Malaysiakini Yoursay

Yoursay: Divided loyalty not a good look for the Armed Forces

Yoursay  |  Published:  |  Modified:

YOURSAY | ‘How did no one notice the special forces personnel were working for Hisham?’

Armed Forces: Escorts for Hisham should have ceased after GE14

Korkor: The armed forces is a disciplined entity and take orders from seniors. To blame the three concerned officers is not in order. They are just following instructions from top to continue serving Hishammuddin Hussein.

What they should do is court-martial those senior officers who gave the orders to serve the former defence minister. A clear case of misuse of power. Show and take strict disciplinary actions accordingly immediately.

Anonymous 9916: You expect our military personnel to be disciplined, really? This is no fiasco, but just a reflection of reality.

Even the former defence minister is not disciplined and has no integrity, what do you expect from the armed forces head and personnel?

All our security forces – the Army, Navy, Air Force and most of all, the police, need revamping from top to bottom.

If Pakatan Harapan is serious in reshaping Malaysia, start now at the failed departments. Otherwise, it is Harapan who runs the risk being of being revamped in next general election.

Vijay47: This very statement from the armed forces indicates that in high places, it is still business as usual, with efforts are being made to water down the gravity of the abuse and, as expected, to transfer blame to subordinates.

The armed forces apparently wants us to believe that soldiers – even elite commandos and Navy's special operation forces (Paskal) members – can coolly stay away from their postings for extended periods and no one would be the wiser.

The three special force members have been absent for more than 100 days, and goodness knows how long more had the news not been broken. Do the concepts of away without leave (AWOL) or desertion not apply to the Malaysian armed forces?

Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu, it is time for you to stop being Mr Nice Guy and display your claws and fangs, beginning with a commanding officer or two being court-martialled.

Ironically, the least guilty one is Hishammuddin himself; being former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak’s cousin, and also being from Umno, the DNA squirming through his veins simply would not allow him to act with honour and propriety.

But for the cheek of his defence that “it was only temporary and they are so close to my family and I,” Hishammuddin should be sent to the brig on bread and water.

Gungadin: So when these three military special forces personnel failed to turn up for duty for over three months, their superior officers thought nothing of it?

In military parlance, this is called 'desertion' and is punishable by imprisonment under section 54 of the Armed Forces Act 1972. This also applies to the person who 'procures' this desertion. So let's see what happens now.

Abasir: The armed forces chief has to tell Malaysians how the three managed to do what they did for so long without detection. He should detail the steps they took on a daily basis to go AWOL.

He should identify the commanding officers of the three rogue officers and specify the consequences in store for their dereliction of duty to supervise.

Otherwise, the armed forces chief should step down and make way for a really competent one with integrity...if such a person exists in the Defence Ministry.

Odysseus: Hishammuddin is trying to wash his hands of this scandal.

If he truly wanted to hire these three armed forces staff, he would have insisted that they resign long ago, informed the armed forces chief and sent them back to their base after BN lost in GE14.

Jinggo: Najib Abdul Razak called Mohamad a cartoon; Hishammuddin wants to teach Mohamad how to run a defence ministry.

Three special forces officers are working as Hishammuddin’s bodyguards and no one knows. Mohamad, get a grip on your portfolio, before the cousins make a fool out of you.

Wira: This is not a national security secret. The armed forces and Defence Ministry should reveal publicly the findings of the internal investigation. Transparency is the key to structural improvement.

TehTarik: Hishammuddin is largely to blame for this fiasco. Being the former defence minister he should be well-versed with standard operating procedures.

The reason he gave of a "temporary" arrangement is a lame excuse.

He should shoulder the larger share of blame, as he is in a superior position in his relationship with the three subordinates. What he did is misuse of power and stems from the entitlement culture of Umno-BN.

Hisham: Special forces escorts only temporary, but...

Don’t Just Talk: Bad habits die hard, and for an educated person like Hishammuddin, he should know that his privileges as defence minister ended on May 8.

As usual, why does it need a news outlet to break the news that three armed forces personnel, who are on the government payroll are providing personal bodyguard services to him?

His late father, former prime minister Hussein Onn, was known for his honesty and discipline. He would have been disappointed with his son's behaviour and abuse of power.

Chris Kwan Sabah: Hishammuddin, you were in the BN government for decades, you should know the rules and regulations. Don’t start saying that you don’t.

The day you ceased your government post, you should have handed back all issued items including personnel, to the government, period.

Three months later, you were still using military officers to serve you. You took advantage of the situation where the Harapan government is too busy with your cousin. The Defence Ministry should send you a bill for the security service during this time.

Oxymoronictendencies: It seems incredibly arrogant for Hishammuddin to continue to use the protective services of Malaysian defence force personnel. Equally, it is shocking that defence force personnel should continue in a role for which they have no authority.

These people are still being paid by the Malaysian government, and Hishammuddin blithely brushes it aside with some remark about it being “temporary.”

At a minimum, there should be an inquiry as to how these defence personnel have been able to continue their roles with Hishammuddin. If they are found to have ignored orders or failed in their duty somehow, then they should be prosecuted and punished appropriately.

At the same time, Hishammuddin should be investigated for potentially suborning defence personnel without due authority. And of course he must pay a fee for the services of these people. A large fee.

This whole issue then begs the question as to how Hishammuddin has amassed sufficient wealth to be able to afford such protective services. And why he would need them at all.

Oh dear, Hishammuddin, your practice of keeping your head below the proverbial political parapet has just backfired badly. Your life is now going to be inspected piece by piece.

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These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.

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