BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)
I RECENTLY finished reading Andrew Feinstein’s The Shadow World. Together with Anthony Sampson’s The Arms Bazaar, they provide deep insights into how the arms trade operates.
Malaysia’s vast financial outlays – the most recent RM2.92 billion in procuring arms, and RM9 billion for six new marine combat ships – raises certain fundamental questions on transparency and accountability. While there is, of course, some need to maintain national security and commercial confidentiality, secrecy enshrouds most arms deals. This all-encompassing secrecy, says Feinstein, “hides corruption, conflicts of interest, poor decision-making and inappropriate national security choices”.
This trade seems to be one of the least scrutinised and accountable areas of government and private activity – when it should be among the most highly controlled and regulated. Read more