KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 ― The Defence Ministry will conduct its own internal probe and audit before determining the substance behind allegations regarding defence spending under the previous administration, Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said today.

Speaking during his first day on duty here after being sworn in as the Defence Minister, the Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) president stressed that he did not want to act on mere “hearsay”.

“We will not act based on hearsay. We will have our internal audit from time to time, study the matter further, and discuss with those at the ministry,” Mohamad, popularly known as Mat Sabu, said.

Mat Sabu was responding to calls for him to investigate defence spending during the Barisan Nasional administration, including the purchase of the controversial Scorpene submarine.

Mat Sabu said that his ministry will not “rush” into take any decisions as it could affect the image of the ministry and its officials.

“If our own internal audit has a finding, we will bring it to the Cabinet,” he said.

Mat Sabu also stressed that he will not “impose” his ideas and decisions on the ministry without discussing and consulting with both the Armed Forces chief and also the ministry secretary-general.

“This first week, I will spend time just listening to briefings generally. I will continue what are good policies, and will try to improve the areas where there are weaknesses ― but as a team,” he added.