Tell us who complained or we’ll sue, armed forces fund tells Rafizi

Rafizi Ramli

(MMO) – The Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT) has given Rafizi Ramli until tomorrow to name the retired military personnel who complained of not receiving their gratuity payments, failing which it will proceed with plans to sue the PKR vice-president.

In a statement, LTAT chairman Admiral (rtd) Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor said Rafizi’s statements linking the gratuity payments to the deal between LTAT subsidiary Perbadanan Perwira Harta Malaysia (PPHM) and 1Malaysia Development Berhad to relocate the former Sungai Besi airbase were unfounded and misleading.

“LTAT’s capacity to meet its financial obligations is in no way dependent on payments received for the PUKL project,” he said, in reference to the Pangkalan Udara Kuala Lumpur project.

“LTAT has a diversified investment portfolio and from the income and proceeds it receives from dividends, profits from its share trading, rental income as well as contributions from its members, LTAT’s cash inflow has always exceeded its cash outflow,” he added.

Mohd Anwar also reiterated a previous assertion that payments by 1MDB to PPHM have so far been on schedule and that PPHM, as the turnkey contractor for 1MDB in the PUKL project, has in turn paid its subcontractors on all amounts due.

He added that the PUKL project is just one of PPHM’s many business activities, which he said also includes building affordable homes in Bukit Jalil for members of the armed forces as well as the construction of government quarters in Jalan Cochrane here.

On the gratuity payments to retired military veterans, the LTAT chief claimed that these are always disbursed within 24 hours of the fund receiving approved applications from the Defence Ministry’s Armed Forces Payroll Directorate (UGAT).

He insisted that to date, all approved applications have been processed and their payments fulfilled.

“We have met all our obligations and to insinuate otherwise is slanderous with a view to impact the good reputation and credibility of LTAT,” Mohd Anwar said.

“Since YB Rafizi has alleged in the media that a sizable number of retired military personnel have not received their gratuity payments, we would like to request for him to provide us with the details of these personnel,”

“On this note, if YB Rafizi fails to produce the names of the retired military personnel by the end of business on Thursday, 31 March 2016, we will continue with our legal action against him,” he added.

Earlier this month, Rafizi reportedly alleged that 1MDB’s financial problems may be affecting LTAT’s gratuity payments to retired military personnel.

According to a Malaysiakini report on March 21, he also claimed to have received complaints from some retired armed forces men that they had yet to receive their payments despite having retired for six months.

On Monday, Rafizi revealed details from what he claimed was an excerpt from the Auditor-General’s report on 1MDB – a classified secret under the Official Secrets Act – to prove that the state investment firm was partly to blame for the alleged delays.

The police are expected to launch an investigation on Rafizi’s disclosure.