08 December 2011

Scorpene - why take 21 months for Zahid's challenge to be ready...

NONEPenang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is not convinced about his invitation from the Defence Ministry to dive with the Scorpene-class KD Tun Razak in Langkawi tomorrow to prove that the submarine is not defective.

Lim, who is DAP secretary-general, said Defence Minister Zahid Hamidi's invitation, which came 21 months after accepting Lim's challenge, cannot hide the fact that it could not dive upon delivery.

"Zahid's gesture also does not answer questions about the costly RM3.68 billion purchase and RM534 million service contract or 'commission' given to Perimekar Sdn Bhd," he added.

Lim (left) was responding to Zahid's challenge in Parliament on March 17 for him to go for a submarine ride to prove its ability to dive.

Last year, Parliament revealed that Perimekar was paid 114.96 million euro (approximately RM574.8 million) for "coordination and support services" involving the submarine deal.

According to investigations by a French journalist, Perimekar is suspected of being created for the sole purpose of sharing a RM500 million commission among Malaysian and foreign beneficiaries.

azlanThe majority shareholder of this company, is said to be the wife of Prime Minister Najib Razak's close confidante and political analyst, Abdul Razak Baginda.

In 2006, Razak was charged with the death of a Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu, who was reportedly involved in the submarine deal, along with two of Najib's boduguards.

However, Razak was discharged without his defence being called, while the two bodyguards face the death penalty for Altantuya's murder.

Lim:Return subs to maker

Lim said Zahid had reassured that the mechanical defect on Malaysia's first submarine had been corrected, but that he (Lim) had insisted that the government return the vessel to the manufacturer for a new replacement.

"After all, if one buys a new car and there is a defect, you take it back to the showroom and ask for a new one," said Lim in a statement.

"However, Zahid refused my suggestion and challenged me to take a dive with the submarine instead," he added.

NONELim said he had accepted this straightaway, but did not realise that it would take 21 months for Zahid's (left) challenge to be ready.

He asked for the reason for the length of time taken for the defect to be corrected.

He added that this would only revisit questions on the controversy of the high cost of purchasing the submarine and suspicions about awarding the service contract to a company that has no previous track record or experience in servicing and maintaining submarines.

Lim said the BN government must realise that not only huge sums of public funds, amounting to RM4.214 billion, were involved but also at stake is the sailors' safety.

The goverment must ensure that the highest standards of safety and security are maintained by experienced and expert service companies, with proven track records.

"I will go to Langkawi and fulfil the challenge thrown by Zahid 21 months ago.

"But the people are still waiting for answers to the questions on the high cost of purchase and service contracts, which are also subject to suits in a foreign country," Lim added.


Guan Eng: After 21 months, you come back to me - don't talk big Zahid!

Kenapa perjanjian seperti Scorpenes–Altantuya tak bantu M'sia tapi bantu Najib


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