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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Govt's RM8bil armoured fighting vehicles 3 times market price!

KUALA LUMPUR - The government has been taken to task over its decision to go ahead with its plan to purchase RM8 billion worth of armoured fighting vehicles (AFV).

Sungai Siput member of parliament Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj said the price offered by DRB-Hicom Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd (Deftech) was three times higher than the market price for the best APC model, which he said cost not more than RM10 million a unit.

“It's RM31 million per unit when the price of the best APC in the world only costs RM 10 million – this is three times more,” he told reporters in parliament yesterday.

Recalling a question by Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua during the last parliamentary session, Jeyakumar said the Defence ministry had stated that the letter of intent issued to Deftech did not mean the government was going to purchase the APC, but was just meant for further discussion.

“This approach is strange. If we go to a shop, and are given a quotation three time higher the price – we normally will say ‘thank you’ and walk away. We’ll look for a new one.

"Here, despite knowing it is three times higher, the Ministry of Defence wants to discuss further with Deftech," said Jeyakumar, adding that the government should instead approach the producers directly.

He said the figure was half of the combined budget allocation for Pakatan Rakyat-led states.

“The total annual budget for four Pakatan Rakyat states was just RM4 billion last year. But this single purchase amounts to RM8 billion. This is not money belonging to the Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister which they can simply squander,” he lamented.

Explaining further, Jeyakumar said the amount could have built 160,000 low cost homes to house 800 families in each parliamentary constituency, so that each family can own the house for only RM50,000 a unit.- Harakahdaily

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