PETALING JAYA: Any involvement in human trafficking by military personnel is a crime against the nation and a disgrace to those in uniform, the National Patriot Association (Patriot) said today.
Patriot suggested that five arrested military personnel be handed over to the Armed Forces for them to be tried by a Military Court if the authorities find that the charges against them do not extend to an act of treason.
We take a very serious view in the case of the arrest of 18 members of the security forces, in particular the five military personnel, suspected of human trafficking in the East Coast of Johor, its president Brig-Gen (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji (pix) said in a statement.
“Those arrested were enforcement officers, meaning they were entrusted to execute tasks given by their superiors, and were accused of colluding with crime syndicates,” he pointed out.
“If guilty, the culprits must be seriously dealt with. A charge for treason is preferred if possible. Patriot has for the last three years quite critical of corrupt activities and abuse of power. As officers previously, we were trained to execute our tasks professionally to achieve the mission. Our integrity was beyond question.
“Our values were in honour, truth, and courage and for country. Often time our tasks ahead were risky and we were prepared to lose our lives. Failure in the missions was unacceptable.”
Being veterans now we are averse to corruption and abuse of power among politicians and those holding high offices, Mohamed Arshad said.
“For members of the security forces involved in crimes against the nation, we hold a stricter yardstick for criticism,” he said.
“There was misdemeanour among service personnel in the yesteryears. But it was mostly confined to personal ill-discipline and minor offences like AWOL (absent without leave), striking, and even drug abuse.
“Commission of crime against the nation was almost non-existence. Part of the reason for that was because we had good leaders who guided and who had set good example to the subordinates. Everyone, every leader at any level was instilled with the maxim of leadership by example.”
Patriot commended Commissioner of Police Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay and his Johor police force for their decisive action on the arrest and put a stop to the nonsense that seems to have gone unchecked for several years.
“A strong message must be sent that crime does not pay; no matter how high an office one holds,” Mohamed Arshad said.
“The commanders of today need to take an introspective look at the effectiveness of their command. The saying that there are no bad soldiers buy only bad officers still holds true. Similarly, if the nation is chaotic it is the political leaders who are to be blamed.
“In this regrettable case of security forces personnel collusion with crime syndicates, we urge commanders at all levels to keep reminding their officers and men of their sworn pledge to serve the King and country with all sincerity, honesty and to the fullest of their ability. The rank that they wear must be upheld in high esteem, honour and dignity.”
President, Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan