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Friday, December 30, 2011

Do your homework, Pua tells Zahid

Sulaiman Kamal | 11:43 PM | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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The DAP man bristles at the minister’s suggestion that he relied on a dubious source of information for his statement about the ballooning cost of warships for the navy.
 DAP publicity chief Tony Pua today fired back at Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for questioning the credibility of his statement about a 50% increase in the price of warships that the government has ordered for the navy.
He said Zahid should have done his homework before asking, in a mocking tone, how he learnt that the cost of acquiring the six littoral combatant ships from Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd had ballooned from RM6 billion to RM9 billion in less than a year.

Zaid, commenting yesterday on Pua’s earlier statement, said: “Where does he get his figures? From Kua Kia Soong, the former DAP MP?”
Pua’s retort this morning was: “If he has bothered reading my statements, I’ve stated clearly that the figures came from the announcements made by Boustead as well as authoritative answers made by himself in Parliament.
“The minister will perhaps do well to stop relying on Papagomo as his chief intelligence advisor, who has to date provided the former with only half-truths and fictitious data.” Papagomo is a pro-Umno blogger.
Zaid yesterday denied that the price had increased, saying it was still under negotiation. But Pua pointed out that Boustead Holdings Bhd had announced on Bursa Malaysia that its shipbuilding subsidiary had received the “letter of award to undertake the construction of the ships” from the Ministry of Defence “to design, construct, equip, install, commission, integrate, test and trials, and deliver six LCS” for the new price of RM9.0 billion.
Pua accepted Zahid’s invitation to a meeting. “Pakatan Rakyat MPs, including Nurul Izzah Anwar and Dr Dzulkefli Ahmad, are more than willing to take up the offer from the minister to seek his clarification,” he said.
The DAP man also said the price tag of RM1.5 billion per ship would “certainly make our patrol vessels among the most expensive in the world”.
He accused Zahid of being untrue to his assurance that the Defence Ministry would be open and transparent about its purchases, citing the government’s unwillingness to set up a parliamentary oversight committee to review and monitor defence expenditure.
“Dato Seri Zahid Hamidi has no right to talk about transparency,” he said.

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