KUALA LUMPUR, 15 June 2009: A question posed by DAP parliamentarian Liew Chin Tong on Defence Ministry expenditure has been rejected because it is an “official secret”.
“I understand if certain matters related to defence are kept secret, but I do not consider this an excuse if the question refers to information related to finances,” Liew said in a press statement today.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bukit Bendera revealed that his rejected question was intended for Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The query requested Zahid to “state, in detail, the purchase list of equipment, assets and systems for the Malaysian Armed Forces that will be registered under the 10th Malaysia Plan”.
It also requested that this list be ordered according to type, name and allocation of funds.
Liew revealed that he was informed by parliament secretary Datuk Roosme Hamzah, in a letter dated 15 June, that his question had been rejected. Roosme cited Standing Order 23(1)(f), which states that “a question shall not seek information about any matter which is of its nature secret”.
Liew said the Defence Ministry was perceived as “not being transparent in carrying out its duties that relate to goods and services”.
“It is important to state that there is a need among MPs to scrutinise the spending of the ministry,” Liew said.