Last updated Wednesday, October 22, 2014 07:49am

Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi speaks at the Institute of Public Safety of Malaysia (IPSOM) crime prevention forum D8 auditorium, D Complex, Putrajaya, September 28, 2013. — Picture by Choo Choy MayDatuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi speaks at the Institute of Public Safety of Malaysia (IPSOM) crime prevention forum D8 auditorium, D Complex, Putrajaya, September 28, 2013. — Picture by Choo Choy MayKUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 — Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today backed Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar's claim that some of the guns missing from the police force's weapons cache could have tumbled into the ocean during operations.

Despite criticisms over the purported lack of accountability over the dangerous items, the Home Minister described the explanation as "transparent", pointing out that such incidences could happen during the course of duty.

"Most importantly there is no malpractices by the police," he told reporters at the lobby of Parliament today.

"Yes because sometimes, the guns [could get] lost in operations but I think I need to ask the police to strengthen the SOP for them to take care the equipment for that matter, or even the guns, not to fall into other people's hand," he added, to a question on whether he agreed with the IGP's remarks.

Yesterday, Khalid said the missing guns highlighted in the just-released federal audit had not fallen into the wrong hands but could have “fallen into the sea”, as he deflected criticisms against the police force for lacking accountability.

The IGP pointed out that checks with the weapons’ identification codes have confirmed that they were not used for any criminal activity recently.

According to the Auditor-General’s 2012 report released yesterday, the police had lost assets worth RM1.33 million in the past three years, including 156 units of handcuffs, 44 units of firearms, 29 vehicles, 26 walkie-talkies, 22 radios, six cameras, four computers, one cellphone, and 21 unspecified items.

The report also noted that the police’s management of missing assets was unsatisfactory, noting the late discovery of missing assets, the delay in reporting losses to the department head and to the police, the department head’s delay in preparing an initial report on the missing assets, and the delay in action following a report on missing assets.

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