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Monday, June 28, 2010

‘Above market price' missiles: MPs want answers


Opposition MP Tian Chua has filed an emergency motion in the Dewan Rakyat today to discuss the “above market price” missiles bought by the Defence Ministry last year.

"The ministry should explain the reasons for the procurement of 40 missiles (SM39 Exocet Block 2) and 30 torpedoes (Black Shark) at 20% above the international market price."

Malaysia, under the then Defence Minister Najib Tun Razak, had purchased the missiles at a cost of 219.265 million euros (RM1.05 billion) instead of the market price of 182.8 million euros (RM877.4 million).

The equipment were meant for KD Tunku Abdul Rahman Scorpene submarine, which is currently not armed.

“The problem now is not only about the cost, but also the delay in obtaining the missiles and torpedoes.

“We have a submarine without weapons... and now this (expensive torpedoes and missiles). All this goes to show the government is wasting money...” Tian Chua told reporters in Parliament today.

“This matter needs to be discussed to avoid bigger losses by the country. Even the contract to procure these weapons has raised doubts... people now question the former defence minister’s professionalism and image.

"I urge the Defence Ministry to explain to the Dewan Rakyat whether a middle man was involved in the purchase of these weapons...”, said Tian Chua.

Warranty ended in May

Tian Chua also said that a new problem has surfaced since the warranty for the weapons had ended last May.

“After May, we are not under warranty. So the problem is we don’t know whether these missiles can be used by our submarines,” he said.

Meanwhile, William Leong (PKR-Selayang) urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate further into the purchase of the Scorpene submarines.

“The French authorities had carried out an indepth study of the company (selling the missles) and they found the company has had a history of bribing government officers.

“So, why has MACC not shown the same diligence in its investigations?” he asked.

courtesy of FMT

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