PUTRAJAYA: The National Patriots Association (Patriot) has called on the Investigative Committee of Administrative Affairs, Procurement and Finance to investigate all major procurement of defence capital equipment of the three armed services from year 2000 onwards. In a statement today, Patriot president Brig-Gen (R) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji (pix) lauded the cabinet's decision to appoint former Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang to head the newly formed committee, yesterday (Wednesday). "Patriot applauds the creation of such a committee by the government and welcomes the appointment of Ambrin to head the committee as he is noted for his dedication and outstanding work as the Auditor-General," he said. As Ambrin had announced that the Defence Ministry will be his first priority for investigations, Mohamed Arshad opined that the ministry with its huge budget allocation provides ample opportunity for corruption to defence contractors. "Furthermore there is also the case of the 40,000ha of military land allegedly privatised. "Procurement exercises ran into billions of ringgit and there had been allegations of some senior military officers involved as parties to corruption in connivance with defence contractors. "It was also alleged that contracts were given to suppliers who were cronies to some senior military officers," he said, adding that it is common to find suppliers setting up a few companies owned by them to vie for the same contract. Patriot, he said would also like to suggest that the committee invites past military officers who were involved in the procurement exercise to assist the committee. "An important reason for this is because as veterans officers they had been vetted for security clearance. "We are quite certain many would be willing to come forward to expose the rot involving corrupt conduct especially with regards to the procurement of major capital equipment for the three armed services," he said. Corruption in the Defence Ministry, he added has been going on for years and in some cases to the knowledge of those of the armed services. "This has to stop and hopefully the findings of the Investigative Committee of Administrative Affairs, Procurement and Finance will put a complete halt to those years of corrupt practices by officials of the Defence Ministry," he added.