Friday, December 08, 2006

US$100 Million Leakage?

In 2002, the Government of Malaysia committed to a RM4.1 billion (US$1.1billion) contract with Armaris, a joint-venture between French and Spanish warship builders, DCN International and Thales.

The Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER) published in August 15, 2002, in an expose which traced the makings of the submarine deal. The expose alleged that a certain company, Perimekar, “will receive, over the next six years, 8% of the total contract value: about 288 million ringgit, and possibly more, as the euro, on which the contract is based, has appreciated 13% against the ringgit since the signing”.

It was also reported that Perimekar was 100% owned by Ombak Laut, “a private company owned by associates of Abdul Razak. Ombak then sold 40% to LTAT and a sister company.”

As many of you would have known by now, this is the same Abdul Razak Baginda, of the Mongolian murder scandal infamy, who is also a senior advisor and confidant to our Deputy Prime Minister as well as the Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

Deputy Defence Minister, Zainal Abidin Zin told the Parliament yesterday that no commission was paid to any Malaysian company for the deal. However, he conceded that “the government admits it has signed a contract with the company worth Euro 114 million (about RM490 million) for coordination and support services.”

In addition, it is not denied that there was a possibility that commissions may have been paid, not by the Malaysian Government, but by Armaris to Perimekar, for the arrangement of the mega defence contract.

Should the Anti-Corruption Agency be opening a file on this case to discover who exactly owns Perimekar and Ombak Laut, and whether a serious conflict of interest or criminal breach of trust has arisen over the deal?

Or will the multi-million ringgit leakage submerge undetected along with the two yet-to-be-delivered Scorpene SSK-class submarines?

For more news on the issue, check out Malaysiakini and Sdr Lim Kit Siang's blog.
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