ABU - ASALKAN BUKAN UMNO

ABU - ASALKAN BUKAN UMNO

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Najib to come under Scorpenes torpedo fire this Thursday

Sulaiman Kamal | 2:24 AM | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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For over two years, Parisian prosecutors, led by investigating judges Francoise Besset and Jean-Christophe Hullin, have been gingerly investigating allegations involving senior French political figures and the sales of submarines and other weaponry to governments all over the world. French news reports have said the prosecutors have backed away from some of the most serious charges out of concern for the political fallout.
The investigators are following a paper trail that would bring to the forefront corruption involving both French and Malaysian officials. And even though the investigations will not look into the murder of translator and former lover of Razak Baginda - Altantuya - the murder would definitely be on the minds of all following the case.


Starring role
On Thursday, July 21, French lawyer William Bourdon will be in Penang to give an exclusive presentation. He is expected to disclose how even "bigger" commissions were paid to "extremely high level" government officials in Malaysia related to the purchase of two submarines in 2002.
Many may not know that French lawyers William Bourdon, Renaud Semerdjian and Joseph Breham filed two requests with Parisian prosecutors on Dec 4, 2009 and Feb 23 2010 on behalf of the Malaysian human rights organization Suaram to investigate bribery and kickbacks from the deal.
As Defence Minister at the time, Najib would have full knowledge of all things pertaining to the purchase of the equipment. A purchase this large and complicated and involving the use of public money should require Najib’s full attention. All details would have made its way onto his desk. Failing to keep in check all the details involved would be tantamount to Najib being sloppy at the job.
In other words, there is no way Najib can be a small player in the whole sordid affair, he would certainly have to be the star.
Additional budget allocations needed for the Scorpenes
From the very beginning, French investigators have shown interest in Razak Baginda’s role in the RM7 billion purchase of Scorpene submarines from French company DCN and the alleged irregularities in the payment of RM570 million to Perimekar, a company managed by Razak, for what the Malaysian government calls “co-ordination and support services” in clinching the submarine deal.
Last month, Najib asked for an additional RM13 billion from Parliament. Part of this additional money was to go into the up-keep of the submarines. The initial maintenance cost, according to the Defence Minister, by Boustead stood at RM50 million per year for 6 years - apparently that figure was only an estimate. Now the cost would be RM417 million in total. An increase of RM117 million from its original RM300 million price tag.
And this increase will be borne by the public. We have yet to hear of the cost for construction of the submarines base in Sabah. Apparently, the Straits of Malacca is too shallow for submarines of the Scorpene class to operate in, thus they have been commission for service in deeper water off the coast of Borneo. This goes against the initial idea that the submarines would be used to curb pirate activities along the Straits of Malacca.
Titanic daylight robbery
So why would Malaysia purchase submarines when geographically, the seas around Malaysia are not that suitable for any submarine activities. What sort of planning went into the purchase beforehand?
Only Najib Razak can answer this. As Defense Minister at the time of the purchase, he was the person tasked with convincing Parliament to approve the purchases.
And now, with further revelations that greater amounts of public money had been used to pay “commissions”, it looks like Najib may have out-done himself as both the weakest and the worst Prime Minister in Malaysian history. Whether through negligence or outright involvement.
Indeed, Najib has much to answer for when it comes to the purchase of the Scorpene submarines. The Frence investigation is clear in its focus - to flush out the corrupt practices involved in the whole deal.
And as the investigators dig deeper, expect more heads to roll. And not just Najib's but every other high-level leader involved will come under scrutiny.
The Scorpene deal is forging ahead to sink what appears to be the Najib-UMNO-BN’s titanic day-light robbery of public funds.


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