Thursday, 17 May 2012

DPM mum on Scorpene submarine suit


Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin is tight-lipped about the government's reaction to a lawsuit filed by French prosecutors on Malaysia's purchase of Scorpene submarines, which is hit by charges of kickbacks paid.

Asked whether the government, which is implicated in the case, would deploy someone for the defence, Muhyiddin said:" I don't want to comment on that."

He added: "No comment."

Local human rights NGO Suaram filed a civil suit with the French courts to look into the government's purchase of the submarines, in which kickbacks - which are illegal in France - running into millions of ringgit were said to have been paid.

Suaram has also proposed a number of witnesses the courts could subpoena, including Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who was deputy prime minister and defence minister at the time the purchase was sealed and current Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had earlier insisted that the French courts have no jurisdiction to summon Malaysians to testify in the ongoing inquiry.

However, French lawyer Joseph Brehem had rebutted Zahid’s statement yesterday, saying that the French courts have jurisdiction over anyone involved in an inquiry.

‘100pct of Bangladeshi workers don’t agree’

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin slammed Tenaganita head Irene Fernandez as unpatriotic for her persistence to question the government’s policy on migrant workers.

Muhyiddin, when commenting on Fernandez’s statement on the plight of Bangladeshi workers recently, said that a Bangladeshi minister met him yesterday and asked for a review of the freezing of Bangladeshi workers to be sent here.

“You can ask the Bangladeshis, if they want to go back, they can go back. But I believe that 100 percent of them would not agree to go back.

“They come here to seek a living, they are not being tortured,” he said.

He condemned Fernandez for basing her statement on rare incidents and labelled her as an “immoral” activist.

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