Police and army commended for the end of the Al Maunah arms heists without more loss of lives but  total revamp of military discipline and weaponry security procedures to prevent future arms heists must begin immediately

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Friday): The police and the army, and in particular Army Field Commander Lt. Jen Datuk Zaini Mohd Said,  are to be commended for the end of the Al Maunah arms heists without more loss of lives.

The arms heists could have a very bloody end if the gang had been  well-trained and highly-professional as compared to most of  Al Maunah gang members who had not held a gun before and did not know how to make full use of the huge stash of high-calibre weaponry they had stolen.

In this sense, the country was lucky but not lucky enough to avoid the loss of three lives.  The nation mourns the death of  Det Kpl K. Sagathevan of Kuala Lumpur special branch and private Tupa Mattew a/k Medan, 25, an army ranger,  two hostages who were killed by the criminal gang.  These two deaths would not have occurred if there had not been the shocking lapse of security at the two military camps where the two arms heists were successfully staged on Sunday.  The government should ensure that  the families of Sagathevan and Tupa would be fully compensated for their unnecessary deaths and Parliament should be informed of the details.

While the people commend the police and army for ending the Al Maunah arms heists without more loss of lives, the nation wants to see an immediate revamp of military weaponry security procedures and restoration of military discipline to ensure that no officer would be allowed to pull rank to disregard rules and regulations leading to the two army heists on Sunday.

As security is too important a subject  to be left solely to the Ministry of Defence and the armed services, an All-Party Parliamentary Committee should be empanelled to investigate into the  two arms heists in Perak on Sunday, the position of lost weaponry in the armed services for the past decade, and  even more important, the overall question of military discipline and security in the country.

The All-Party Parliamentary Committee on Defence Security and Discipline should focus in particular on all past cases of stolen weaponry from the armed forces, including  the incident last  July  when  four  Steyr AUG assault rifles were stolen from an army camp which  subsequently ended in the hands of the notorious group of bank robbers called the Steyr Gang, which was responsible for a spate of nine bank robberies and the murder of a security guard.

There is at present at large another gang of robbers armed with M-16 assault rifle, which had  pulled off three major robberies in recent months involving about RM2.5 million.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman