Two army  boards of inquiry set up into the Grik arms heists self-serving, unsatisfactory and totally unacceptable when the army itself should be investigated

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Thursday): The two army boards of inquiry announced by the Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to  investigate the July 2 arms heists in Grik are self-serving, unsatisfactory  and totally unacceptable when the army itself should be the target of investigation, especially the shocking breakdown of military discipline and security in military camps and weapon armouries.

Najib seems more interested in trying to uncover Al-Maunah members in the armed forces than in finding out why a ragtag gang of  15 people led by a 29-year-old "mentally-unstable", ex-army private could empty two high-security armouries of vast cache of high-calibre weapons, including some  100 M-16 rifles, heavy and light machine guns,  grenade launchers, high-exposive shells and  thousands rounds of ammunition.

What happened in the two army camps in Grik on July was  a shameful  blot on the record and reputation of the Malaysian armed forces. What would have happened if such fearsome firepower, enough to equip a small army and to start a war, had fallen into the hands of professionally-trained people?

The Al Mauna army heists would have been  nipped in the bud if there had been no breakdown of military discipline and security procedures, where officers could pull rank to disregard rules and regulations.

The government should not try to  sweep the problem of the breakdown of military discipline and security under the carpet through the diversion tactic of  creating a national scare that the elected government of the country was on the verge of being toppled by Al Maunah Sheikh Amin Mohd Razali, who was earlier described by the Inspector-General of Police as "mentally-unstable"!

Apart from an internal investigation by the army board of inquiry, there should be an independent inquiry  involving personalities from outside the armed forces and the Defence Ministry into the Grik arms heists, the whole question of military discipline and preparedness, delving into the history of loss of weapons from military armouries as well as the overall question of how to upgrade military discipline and professionalism.

It would appear that although grave lapses had been committed in the two military camps in Grik, nobody would be court-martialled - just as Najib would not have to take responsibility for the arms heists and resign as Defence Minister.

*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman