Thursday 31 May 2012

Scorpene to surface in Parliament

Nurul Izzah Anwar wants to propose an emergency motion in Parliament to debate the alleged sale of a top secret document relating to the Scorpene submarine to the French. 

PETALING JAYA: Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar plans to raise the controversial topic of Scorpene submarines in Parliament following revelations that a highly-classified defence document was allegedly sold to a French defence company.

In a press statement today, Nurul said that she will be seeking an emergency motion during the June 11-28 session of Parliament.

The motion would be “to debate on the exposé of illegal commissions and sale of national defence secret documents in regard to the Scorpene submarines as revealed by Suaram in Bangkok on May 30, 2012 which threatens national security and sovereignty”.

Said Nurul: “The people have the right to demand Prime Minister [Najib Tun Razak] issue an immediate statement on this matter.

“… because if it is true, then it places the operations of the Scorpene submarines at risk as defence secrets may have been sold to foreign agents.”

Nurul said that if the government fails to respond to this allegation, Malaysians should be “prepared” to face the consequences that their nation’s security and sovereignty would be compromised.

Earlier today, FMT reported that a highly-confidential government document – an evaluation by the Malaysian navy of the Scorpene-class submarine and contract details – was allegedly sold to a French defence company for 36 million euros (RM142 million).

This claim was made by human rights NGO Suaram, which had initiated a now ongoing French judicial inquiry to look into corruption allegations surrounding the submarine deal.

Suaram said the secret document was sold by Terasasi (Hong Kong) Ltd to French defence giant DCNS, ostensibly for “commercial engineering” works.

This was among the major issues that the French judge probing the case lodged by Suaram against Paris-owned shipmaker DCNS for alleged corruption, is looking at.

High treason

According to a French lawyer acting for Suaram, Joseph Breham, the judge had inquired what those payments were and had demanded reports of financial transactions.

The lawyer had said it was even possible that Thales, a subsidiary of DCN, paid the money to obtain the classified document so that it could better its bid for the project.

The lawyer also said that the sale of the secret document could also amount to high treason.

Hong Kong-based Terasasi’s directors include Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s close ally Abdul Razak Baginda and the latter’s father Abdul Malim Baginda.

The secret document was allegedly sold to Thales International, also known as Thint Asia, which is a subsidiary of DCN (later known as DCNS).

DCNS is the company central in the legal suit filed by Suaram in 2009 in the French court, which recently commenced a judicial inquiry at the Tribunal De Grande Instance in Paris.

The inquiry revolves around the RM7.3 billion deal to purchase two Scorpene submarines with DCNS and Spainish Navantia in 2002, when Najib was defence minister. Suaram’s complaint was based on the claim of corruption for a payment amounting to 114 million euros from DCNS to Perimekar Sdn Bhd.

Perimekar is also directly linked to Abdul Razak who was acquitted of abetting in the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu, while two of Najib’s former bodyguards were convicted of the murder.

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