Hornbill Unleashed

March 29, 2017

As govt mulls French defence buys, C4 reminds of Scorpene deal

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

cynthia-c4The Center to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4) is calling for transparency in any new defence deal with France amid the ongoing fallout from the Scorpene submarine agreement signed in 2002.

In a statement today, C4 said the defence ministry should reveal details of new agreements in Parliament, following reports that deals would be signed today during French President Francois Hollande’s visit to Malaysia.

But Reuters reported Prime Minister Najib Razak as saying this afternoon that Malaysia had yet to make a decision on buying Dassault Aviation SA’s Rafale fighter jets.

“We’re not ready yet to make a decision, but we take note of its success in other countries…,” Najib said at a joint news conference with Hollande here.

C4 said it was “extremely concerned about this renewed attempt at another defence cooperation given the gravity of the wrongs that filled the Scorpene submarine deal”.

The statement, issued by C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel, claimed the Scorpene deal was “one of the Malaysian government’s greatest robberies over its people, all in the name of national secret and security”.

The Scorpene contract was signed in 2002. The main goal was to deliver Malaysia’s first submarines and train its first Royal Navy submariners.

The agreement saw the sale of two Scorpene-class submarines from a joint venture between French group Thales International Asia and fellow defence company DCN, now called DCNS.

Reports later said that political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda had received around €30 million (about RM137 million) as consulting fees in the deal. Abdul Razak last year admitted to the Financial Times that he had received that amount but that none of it was used to bribe anyone.

French authorities also indicted Bernard Baiocco, former president of Thales, for “active bribery of foreign public officials linked to (Prime Minister) Najib Razak”.

Najib was defence minister when the Scorpene submarines were purchased in 2002. However, a government spokesperson said the allegations of wrongdoing against Najib were “baseless smears for political gain”.

He added that Najib had not benefited from any payments from the deal.

C4 today reminded that the judicial inquiry into the alleged corruption, misuse and abuse of taxpayers’ money linked to the deal was still ongoing in French tribunals.

It said a total of €114.9 million – over RM500 million – was being investigated for kickbacks and corrupt practices, adding that two French high-level persons involved in the deal had already been indicted for bribery.

C4 also mentioned the 2006 murder of Altantuya Shaaribu, which it claimed was “intricately linked with the alleged payments and kickbacks made”.

“A repeat of this cannot be allowed to happen with even more defence deals being signed,” it said.

“Malaysia cannot afford to wait for another great robbery and tragedy,” C4 added.

Source : @ FMT Online


1 Comment »

  1. Cats don`t steal fishes on daylight

    Comment by Salim — March 30, 2017 @ 11:27 AM | Reply

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