Wednesday, December 23, 2009

F5E : Theft of RMAF Jet Engines - view of Retired Brigadier General.

Lets us read what a retired army officer who believes in justice for all and hates apple polisher Brigadier General (Rtd) Datuk Muhammad Arshad Raji wrote about missing of 2 unit of F5E Engine.

The last few days, the new media is having a gala time reporting on the missing RMAF jet fighter engine, and instead of just one engine, now the number has increased to two. Just don't believe in that number as yet. It may be many more, because the bottom of the ice-berg can be 100 times larger than the tip. Isn't this the indication given by the Chief of Defence Force himself?

Now, I not going to blame anyone nor ask anyone to be jailed for the fiasco. But the many people that I met does not seem to be too happy at the way the government handles the issue, that is viewed as an act of treason by those involved in the theft of the engines. The punishment meted to those involved as reported, does not reflect the severity of the case. We are not taking about a motor car engine, but a jet fighter engine, and surely the original equipment manufacturer will be deeply concern as to which country gets possession the engine.

It was indicated in the main stream media of the likelihood that the engines had been shipped to a middle eastern country. My guess is a country under sanction by the US, and it was only upon the US having sensed that the engines could possibly be in the hands of a country under sanction, that our government decided to expose the theft. Hence, the two year long silence.

Another view as to why the government decided to keep the news under wraps at the time was because the country was nearing the 2008 General Elections, and exposing such an issues that impinge upon national security, would be disastrous for the ruling government. And to bring out the issue soon after the elections was not the right time either, because this will jeopardize the momentum that has been building up by pro Najib supporters, to ensure that Najib becomes the next Prime Minister, following BN's disastrous 2008 General Elections.

On hindsight, I believe that the government was wrong in keeping silence from public knowledge, this security related issue that has serious national and international repercussions. The government will now have to bear the brunt of public odium, and also possibly the loss of pubic confidence in the government's future handling of serious security related issues. Whatever reasons and justifications that the government has given now has little impact on building and reassuring public confidence, and this does not augur well for Najib's leadership.

Had the government acted promptly upon the theft being known in 2007, I believe public confidence would not have been badly eroded.

On Saturday, December 19, 2009

I was awakened by a call from a friend this morning who had asked me if I knew anything about the news of a stolen RM50 million jet engine from the RMAF base at Sg. Besi, Kuala Lumpur. I replied that I knew nothing about the stolen jet engine, and he then asked me to quickly get the NST papers for the news.

Sure enough, the news was splashed in NST bottom front page and the story continued on page 9. I just could not believe in what I read; a whole jet engine i.e. a General Electric J8-21A afterburner turbojet engine for the F-5E Tiger 11 and RF-5E Tigereye, and including the service and maintenance record as well. I do not know whether to laugh or cry; a whole jet engine gone missing reportedly since late last year. This is a kind of story that makes a good movie, and I believe many producers from Bollywood would want to capitalised on such a story.

The news report says that a joint RMAF/PDRM investigation have revealed the involvement of four people i.e. three civilians and one RMAF personnel. It is believed that the engine is no longer in the country, and its whereabouts was not disclosed.

Obviously, there is a serious lapse in security at the RMAF base i.e. a facility that is guarded by armed RMAF personnel on a 24 hours basis, with no alternative route out, other then the one main entrance/exit route.

The concern now is what else are likely to be stolen. If a jet engine could pass the main gates, probably on a 3 ton lorry, I see no reason for smaller items to get pass as well. Could that small item be weapons, and weapons can be dismantled in smaller pieces, and hidden in the most inconspicuous places. As reported, the former Chief of Air Force who is currently the Chief of Defence Force has said that, “the stolen engine might just be the tip of the iceberg”, implying that there might be other equipments gone missing “as far back as 2007”. Or is he in the full knowledge that there are indeed other equipments missing, but kept under wraps.

Such a statement by a former Chief of Air Force does not bode well for the RMAF. And indeed, he has to accept a portion of blame and responsibility for the loss, that I would dubbed the 'mother of all losses'.

I suppose this loss is no big deal when compared to the PKFZ fiasco, or the costs overran for the double tracking electric train project. And when I called a friend to ask him for his views regarding this unusual loss, his reply was simply, “Malaysia Boleh”. And I suppose, if it was a whole aircraft gone missing, the reply would be the same.

I am curious to know what will be the action taken by the RMAF and the government over this incredible incident. Will there be heads rolling, and if there are, whose heads will fall first. Your guess is as good as mine.


mind NO EVIL



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