Independent commission of inquiry into the purchase of military hardware

6 May, 2008

TI-Malaysia welcomes and strongly supports Parliamentary Opposition Leader’s call independent commission of inquiry into the purchase of military hardware

TI MALAYSIA welcomes and strongly supports the call by Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail for the government to establish a committee of inquiry to look into the circumstances of reported payments of huge commissions to private companies apparently serving as commission agents.

These commissions which reportedly amounted to RM530 million in the purchase contract of two submarines and RM380 million for the purchase of fighter jets calls to question the transparency and integrity and accountability of the government’s procurement policies and practices, in particular where it concerns huge defence equipment procurement at such high costs.

Indeed, TI-Malaysia considers that this must be but the start of major efforts to clean up the entire public procurement mechanism to prevent and remove abuses and corruption.

The Government should disclose why such huge commissions need to be paid and what contributions these middlemen make to justify receiving such huge commissions.

To safeguard public funds used in procurement, the government should look seriously into implementing integrity pacts and agreements with all vendors. Integrity pacts require the vendors to disengaged from unethical and corrupt practices and disclose all commissions and payments

The recent elections had shown that our voters are inter alia upset about the lack of serious action in battling corruption and behooves the government to take the electorate’s views more seriously if confidence in our public institutions is to be at a much higher level.

In today’s global world where information flows ever more freely, it is incumbent on our elected officials to lead by example and subscribe to transparency and good governance in public procurement.

Tax payers and the poor will react to any abuses in the government tender system and the whole delivery system, unless urgent action is taken to overcome these public finance abuses on budget revenues and expenditures!

Issued by
Tan Sri Ramon V Navaratnam
President
Transparency International Malaysia

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