Wednesday, 27 June 2012

'Zahid's ignorance of leak raises more questions'

Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s response of ignorance of leaked documents regarding the Scorpene submarine scandal in parliament last night has raised more questions than answers.

Lembah Pantai MP and PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar said such a response required further answers as Zahid himself had admitted there was an investigation on the matter.

“So what was the investigation’s scope? Were the police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers involved to avoid conflict of interest with the Defence Ministry?” she asked.

“Furthermore, the minister should also reply whether the ‘official’ documents in the French Court possession are not state secrets and hence false documents? If this is indeed the case, when will the government issue a diplomatic note to protest its usage,” the Lembah Pantai MP inquired further.

As the clock was ticking to midnight, Zahid said his ministry had no information about vital documents being leaked out to Terasasi Hong Kong Ltd, who sold Malaysian secret documents to Thint Asia, also known as Thales International, a subsidiary of DCNS, the company which sold the two Scorpene submarines.

Terasasi’s two directors are Abdul Razak Baginda and his father Abdullah Malim Baginda. Abdul Razak, who was acquitted of a charge of abetting the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu, is said to be close friend of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

It was reported on May 31 that Terasasi was paid 36 million euros (RM142 million) for an evaluation by the Royal Malaysian Navy on the Scorpene submarines.

NONENurul Izzah (left) further queried if Zahid wished to clarify whether the purchase of the Scorpene submarines was a government-to-government initiative, and why there was a need to use a private company, Perimekar Sdn Bhd, for “support and coordinating services and not a government body.

“The minister must also list what those services (provided by Perimekar) actually are,” she asked.

She further questioned whether Malaysia’s submarines have had live fire and torpedo exercises done to test the weapons systems.

“Before Zahid attempts to hide behind the Official Secrets Act, take note that ‘live fire’ exercises such as the Exocet missiles from our naval ships and ‘missile test’ launches are public knowledge as part of proof of our capability and military posturing,” she inquired further.

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