Corruption and incompetence lead to declining operational readiness of Su-30MKM, says Malaysian Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu

Su-30MKM of RMAF


The defence ministry wasn’t the only challenge Mat Sabu faced. He was criticised by Brigadier-General (Retired) Mohamed Arshad Raji, president of the National Patriots Association, for improperly revealing that only 4 of the 28 Malaysian-owned Russian fighter jets could take to the air.

Su-30MKM Graft Case

Mr Sabu accused Former Prime Minister Najib Razak of embezzling $73 million dollar through Su-30MKM procurement. The Russian JSC Rosoboronexport was involved paying Prime Minister Najib Razak $73 million to facilitate the Su-30MKM deal.

Read More International Arms Trade: Grease Payments by Rosoboronexport and Rostec

Mr. Arshad said – “We don’t have to say that only four of our Sukhois can fly. These are vital military assets. It is important that the public feels confident and reassured that our skies can be protected. Nations around the world maintain a certain level of preparedness, even in times of peace, to counter external threats, so we wouldn’t want others to know our level of preparedness.”

Najib Razak: A family of crooks and thieves

Defense Minister Mohamad Sabu recently revealed in Parliament that while the RMAF (Royal Malaysia Air Force) had 18 Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30MKM and 10 MiG-29 firefighters, only four Super Flankers were operational. He explained that the remaining 14 are under repair and said the RMAF was unable to properly maintain the fighter jets’ airworthiness.

Su-30MKM of RMAF

The ten MiG-29 multi-role jets entered service in 1995, while six Sukhoi Su-30MKM Air-Superiority Fighter were delivered in 2007 and the remainder in 2009. The defense minister said his Defense Ministry had terminated the contractor engaged by the former administration and was looking at replacing them with local contractors.

Riza Aziz with siblings

 While Mr. Arshad’s concern about national security is commendable, it’s actually an open secret that Malaysia’s Air Force is a joke. In fact, the entire Malaysian Armed Forces are quite embarrassing. Under Defence Minister Najib Razak, two missing US$2.2 million F5 fighter engines were revealed, after the engines were taken out of the RMAF base on Dec 20, 2007 and Jan 1, 2008.

The military only realized that the engines were missing on May 22 of that year, leading to jokes that most likely the engines might have ended up as scrap metal. Perhaps this is why Najib dares not insult Mat Sabu over the revelation that only 4 fighter jets could fly. The theft of the two jet engines happened under his watch as defense minister.

Scorpene Submarines Graft Case

Under Najib leadership as the country’s defense minister, the world was also entertained with unbelievable revelation that Malaysia had bought European-made Scorpene submarines which refuse to dive. The two submarines, bought in 2002, also saw how Mr. Najib and his close associate Razak Baginda pocketed US$15 million in commissions for brokering the deal.

Of course, such corruption scandal would be a dull and boring drama without woman and sex. Enter Altantuya, the Mongolian beauty who allegedly had sexual intercourse with both Najib and Baginda. When she demanded her commission in the submarine deal, she was shot instead and her body was exploded with C4 military-grade explosives in 2006 at a forest in Shah Alam, Selangor.

The RMAF capability and readiness, currently reduced to only 4 fighter jets, is absolutely humiliating. After spending billions of dollars on defence, Malaysia is like a sitting duck, vulnerable to foreign invasion. Besides failure to take into consideration TCO (total cost of ownership), the cost of procurement also ballooned due to leakages or corruption.

Air Force chief Affendi Buang said since 2007, the annual operational budget allocated was never sufficient to effectively manage and maintain its assets – “This has been verified by the National Audit Department, based on its 2017 audit. The lack of funds directly impacted the maintenance and serviceability rate of our Su-30MKMs.”

Therefore, it was actually a necessary move by Mat Sabu to reveal the real fighter jets readiness in Parliament. This is just like the revelation about RM1 trillion debts.

If Mat Sabu keeps this a secret, in the name of national security, the government of Pakatan Harapan will be blamed for the pathetic conditions of RMAF several years down the road. Get real, do you think foreign forces such as Singapore does not know Malaysian Air Force capability? Had RMAF ever scrambled its jet to warn Singapore Air Force’s intrusion over Malaysia airspace?

1MDB Graft Case

The US Department of Justice investigation results says that over US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from the 1MDB fund, with some of the money used to buy a private jet, a super yacht, Picasso paintings, jewellery and real estate. So far, neither former Prime Minister Najib Razak nor his partner-in-crime Jho Low (full name: Low Taek Jho) dare to file any lawsuit to challenge the DOJ’s accusations.

PARIS, FRANCE – DECEMBER 09: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio with Jho Low (right) of the movie attend the photocall before the ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ World movie Premiere at Cinema Gaumont Opera on December 9, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)

The US Attorney General’s Chambers have announced that US$322 million (RM1.35 billion) from 1MDB assets is ready to be returned to Malaysia following the United States Department of Justice’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative. The amount recovered includes a portion of the US$4.5 billion siphoned and plundered by the Najib regime.

Money investigators eventually traced back to 1MDB flowed freely, even implicating some A-list Hollywood celebrities. Notably, Low financed “The Wolf of Wall Street”, a movie about corrupt broker Jordan Belfort’s multi-million dollar Wall Street fraud which was uncovered by the FBI. But financial dealings beyond the silver screen grew even more entangled, forcing Leonardo DiCaprio to turn over millions of dollars worth of gifts from Low, including a $3.28 million Picasso and Marlon Brando’s first Oscar for “On the Waterfront.”

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