ABU - ASALKAN BUKAN UMNO

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Armed Forces chief warns staff: It is treachery to expose votes cheating

Sulaiman Kamal | 8:13 PM | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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In a bid to head off more revelations of votes cheating, Armed Forces chief General Zulkifeli Mohd Zin put on his fiercest face and warned that it was "treachery" for staff to blow the whistle on their bosses.
In a rare public statement issued on Thursday, Zulkifeli also rebuked "irresponsible parties" for implicating the armed forces and its personnel in corrupt voting procedures.

“The actions can be interpreted as treachery and it should stop immediately. The ATM (armed forces) is the nation's wall of defence that should be supported by all levels of the people, regardless of ethnicity, religion and political position," Zulkifeli, who heads the Armed Forces, said in a statement out on Thursday.
“It is hoped that the ATM is not made a scapegoat by those seeking to advance their own interests. Tthe people should show their support and appreciation for the contributions of the ATM.  In this context: 'How can we be loyal to you if you are disloyal to us'?"
He was immediately condemned for getting over-emotional and above his position with his words.
"This shows Zulkifeli's own bias. Like the Election Commission chief and deputy chief, he is now also speaking like an UMNO leader. This strengthens the case for an immediate revamp of the electoral system based on the Bersih recommendations," PKR vice president Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.
Explain the cases, not emotional denials
Zulkifeli's denial comes a day after four ex-military personnel confessed to committing election fraud at a press conference organised by opposition party PAS.
More such revelations are expected soon as frustrated Malaysians begin to show their disgust over the rising corruption in the country.
Meanwhile, the four whistleblowers are Major (Rtd) Risman Mastor, Kamarulzaman Ibrahim, Mohamed Nasir Ahmad and Mohd Kamil Omar. They admitted marking thousands of postal votes in three separate general elections between 1978 and 1999.
They also said they were ordered by their commanding officers to mark the postal votes on behalf of colleagues who were out in the field. The number goes into hundreds and thousands.
The startling revelation was the second this month after another ex-army man came forward, making a similar claim that a week ago.
While Zulkifeli was quick to condemn "irresponsible parties" for trying to tarnish the miltary's reputation, he did not have concrete explanations for how the 5 men could have come about with their accusations.
Furthermore these are not new grouses but have been long-standing complains through the decades. Postal votes of army personnel have always been suspect and the BN has never abandoned the practise despite the advice of many transparency experts.
All Zulkifeli could say was that the armed forces have always respected the freedom of its troops to cast their votes, as enshrined under the Elections Act 1958 and section 16 of the Election Regulations (Postal Votes) 2003.
“The Armed Forces denies that there is any manipulation as claimed. The voting process carried out by the Armed Forces is clean, transparent and professional without any interference by all levels of the Armed Forces' leadership,” he said.
Although Zulkifeli did not name who the "irresponsible" people were, it was clear that he was referring to the Pakatan Rakyat, which has been instrumental in dredging out a slew of electoral skull-duggery.
Zulkifeli shows his own bias
Zulkifeli also accused unnamed parties of leaking out military secrets and spreading false information regarding the efficacy and capabilities of the ATM's weapons systems.
“Such actions will not only expose military secrets to interested parties who want to know the Armed Forces capabilities, but even worse, it has shaken the confidence of Armed Forces personnel,” he said.
He did not specify but several cases have been hotly debated of late. One is Prime Minister Najib Razak's controversial purchase of two Scorpene submarines, for which he was accused of receiving kickbacks of some RM570 million.
Current defense minister Zahid Hamidi too has been condemned for gross overpricing in his proposal to buy 6 operational patrol vessels for RM6 billion or RM1 billion apiece and 30 Typhoon Eurofighters also at RM1 billion apiece.
"Is Zulkifeli saying citizens have no rights to question how the government is spending on arms purchases? Does he know what he is saying? How can questioning, did Najib Razak receive commission for the two Scorpenes be a breach of national security. Just this alones shows Zulkifeli's own partiality," PKR stalwart Eddie Wong toldMalaysia Chronicle.


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