Monday, February 28, 2011

RM6 billion OPVs: The Navy Can Sue Me

Utusan Malaysia proves to be the master of “putar-belit” with its article published on the 24 February entitled “TLDM akan saman Tony Pua” when the only comment made by the Navy Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar was that he does not rule out the possibility of filing a defamation suit against me. To quote Utusan itself, “Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia (TLDM) tidak menolak kemungkinan akan memfailkan saman fitnah terhadap Setiausaha Publisiti Kebangsaan DAP, Tony Pua.”

But then again, we are already used to the lies spun by Utusan Malaysia.

Nevertheless, given the possibility that I may be sued for alleged defamation by the Navy, I’ll make the open declaration that I’m ready to face any suit filed against me, in the line of my duty as a Member of Parliament.

When Defence Minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi announced the order for 6 units of offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) for the amount of RM6 billion from Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd, he did so without any accompanying details. Given the size and scale of the expenditure with the tax-payers’ money, it is imperative for an MP to be demand for the details of such an acquisition. This is especially so in the light of the fact that there are different types of “patrol vessels” priced between RM100 million to RM1 billion or more.

Malaysian citizens have a right to know what exactly we are getting for our money’s worth especially given the less than stellar track record of our Ministry of Defence which is engulfed in scandals after scandals over the past decade, including the purchase of 6 offshore patrol vessels for RM5.35 billion in 2000 which was not only delayed for nearly 2 years, but had a major cost overrun of 26.2% or RM1.4 billion, costing the people a total of RM6.75 billion.

Tan Sri Abdul Aziz who subsequently clarified that the new patrol vessels purchased were very powerful and heavily equipped vessels which could take part in surface-to-air, surface-to-surface and anti-submarine warfare in the class of “littoral combat ships (LCS)”.

Assuming that Boustead is indeed supplying 6 LCS for the Malaysian Navy which is worth an average of RM1 billion each, the Minister of Defence will still have to answer as to the rationale behind such extravagant purchases for our security needs.

In fact, there are only 2 Littoral Combat Ships in operation today in the world, the USS Independence and USS Freedom in the United States (US). Due to budget constraints, the US Navy had to undergo months of negotiations with the US Congress in the House of Representatives and Senate which voted against various plans before finally securing approval to place an order of 2 ships in 2010, another 2 in 2011 and more subsequently with 2 world-class military defence companies, Lockheed Martin and Austal.

While the United States which faces threats and fights wars in all parts of the world is cutting back on defence spending, owns only 2 LCS, Malaysia has chosen to spending RM6 billion to build 6 LCS in a region not anticipated to be facing threats or confrontation for a foreseeable future.

Worse, the proposed spending comes at a time when the Government is fighting to reign in the budget deficit, control the country’s ballooning RM406 billion debt and has imposed austerity measures by cutting subsidies and increasing taxes of basic goods and services.

The Government needs to practice what it preach in the Government Transfrmation Programme (GTP) and New Economic Model (NEM) which called for accountable and transparent procurement practices. The threat of a lawsuit is not a first, for I have been similarly sued by SYABAS for calling upon the company to return its water concession to the Selangor state government to protect the interest of the rakyat, and I will continue to ask pertinent and uncomfortable questions to our Ministers to check on the excesses of the BN Government.

16 comments:

LSC said...

I don't know much about accountancy. But Philipines and Indonesia can buy same vessels at fraction of our Navy is paying, something is very wrong.

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charleskiwi said...

Najib has taught them how to deal with such matter !
Just keep quite like he did with the P.I's.case and it will be over. The entire country is in a bloody shamble, everyone is stealing right from the P.M. to a junior immigration officer. Only a selected few who are retired are indicted and only the running dogs in MCA which we have known for a long time.
What about those in Umno ? Surely they are not as clean as they are seen to be, in fact they are the grand fathers of all corruption. What about C.M. Taib ? Are you waiting for the people revolt before actions are taken, that might too late then, Najib.

Taxpayer said...

This is the mentality of top public officers like in this case of the Navy Admiral.He is just trying to shoe-polish the present govt by giving non-sensical reasons.As what MP Tony pointed out,is our country under severe threats that we have to procure such sophisticated army vessels to protect our shores? Even America,which is combating wars everywhere,has only 2 such vessels and now we are trying to buy 6?
Is Malaysia trying to overtake America as the international police or trying to beat them to show your power?
Something is very wrong some where and we must not let the govt simply spent(our money)in such lavish way!

Lee Wee Tak said...

just another standard maneovure to cover up via intimidation.

not only the amount is in question but the weaponary chosen in question, why M'sia needs the subs? why did we changed the M-16 rifles which was still ok? do we need various high performance fighter jets?

We must match the weaponary against threats - and the threat we face is pirates mainly; and we should consider equiping the military with rescue capability like helicopters for mercu flights or combating displacement following floods. What can KD Komisen Tenggelam contribute to these?

idris jala is right, malaysia is gonna be bankrupt ....if we continue to subsidize the cronies.

Anonymous said...

Come on Tony!!!

You asked "the Minister of Defence will still have to answer as to the rationale behind such extravagant purchases for our security needs". right. Well, I'm sure you're smarter than this, right?

Are you expecting MINDEF to expose their secrets over informations that are deemed "Private & Confidential"? It's surely dumb & foolish to do so, right? It's likened to DAP exposing their "Private & Confidential" strategies/information in public & will DAP do such a thing?

"Tolong pakailah otak sikit". Let's NOT waste what GOD had given us called brains, will you? It's totally alright for you to speak but at least speak using brains. There are abundance of ways to steal cheap publicity but by speaking NOT using your brains just to merely steal such cheap publicity will only make you a bigger fool. What you're doing is likened to that African lady who recently ran round the streets 'NAKED' just to capture cheap attention. The only difference between you & that African lady is that she is 'cloth-LESS', while you're 'brain-LESS'.

I understand you're kinda 'immune' with lawsuits but you ought to get 'immune' first with using brains to speak.

Nonetheless, you got helluva' explaining to do in Court. Hence, before you speak blindly in the Court....try practicing your brains first, ya?

God bless u!

Anonymous said...

Tony Pua, do not let anyone intidimate you! You have said nothing wrong! They just want to go ahead with that hopefully no one dared say anything. Every cent you spent must be presented to the public or we will not be satisfied! Too long Rakyat have suffered in silence not knowing how our hard earned tax money is being spent in so many areas!

Anonymous said...

I think ultimately it will be a little combat vessels. Now the punder in billions.
They still think we rakyat are stupid.

Anonymous said...

I can foresee it now. In two years time you will be taken to the navy base and shown an empty space and be told that the new LCS is right in front of you. Its so advance that its invisible (including the crew) and everything is in silent mode because its top secret. And the technology was developed by Boustead with the cooperation of Umnocorp.Malaysia Boleh.

Anonymous said...

The Government does not get it. I have benn telling them that they should make the RM 1.00 work like RM2.00. But they have resorted to zero budgeting.Just for information ,the new Boeing 747-800 costs US 317 Million. And our OPV is going to cost that much.

kh said...

good one tony, keep it up

Anonymous said...

You got to be kidding me. Stop whining around. If you really think what you said is totally right, just proceed to make a formal report to Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)/SPRM. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

Why not whine. Where does the Government get the money from? From the rakyat and we have the right to ask and whine. If it is from UMNO pocket, who cares. Even from Petronas, it is still the rakyat money. We know those does not want to whine, have side income or undertable money from the deals.

We pay tax and yet the Najib ask us to tighten our belts but those support Najib spend like Drunken sailor and even korek haram money from the gambling.

Api said...

A true warship that is fitted out as per the proposed SGPV-LCS costs much more that a 747-800.

Also, the USA's 2 LCS are the first-of-class ships. The US Govt has just confirmed order for another 10.

Just to get some facts straight.

Api said...

Also, the Singapore Govt just confirmed it is replacing the Fearless class corvettes. Is Singapore fighting any wars lately? Also, it is to be built by ST Marine and not through any open tender.

Just more facts.

aseansecurityobserver said...

memang yb tony pua ini pandai pergi tipu rakyat!Stupid pua!

Anonymous said...

singapore military budget rose every year and 2 times more than malaysia but yet nobody even concern about it.