Mindef defends use of military plane for Mat Sabu

PETALING JAYA: The Defence Ministry has denied any wrongdoing in flying its newly minted minister on a military airplane for an official event.

"RMAF (Royal Malaysia Air Force) chief Jen Tan Sri Affendi Buang had invited Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu to a breaking fast event, as well as a meet-and-greet with the men at the Butterworth airbase.

"This event is a yearly affair for the RMAF and it also served as the first official meet between RMAF personnel and the minister," the Defence Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

It added that similar visits would be made with the Army and Navy in the near future.

"The use of the A400M airplane also served to complete flying hours for the RMAF pilots who flew it. This is because all pilots have to complete a certain number of hours to maintain their level of competency," the Ministry said.

It also argued that the use of a military plane lowered time and flying costs compared with the use of a commercial plane.

On Monday, lawyer Datuk Abu Backer Sidek Mohamad Zan lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over Mohamad's visit.

He alleged that the working trip was merely an excuse for the minister to visit his hometown in Tasek Gelugor.

The lawyer added that the flight using military assets was unnecessary due to the country's current debt level.

News report confirmed that the minister also held a similar event in Kampung Guar Petai there soon after his official visit to the base.

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