Continuing to remain silent on recent allegations against the country in the French inquiry into the Scorpene submarine purchase scandal sends the signal that the claims hold water, says DAP's Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo.

NONE"From a legal standpoint, failure to participate (in the inquiry in France) and deny the allegations made against Malaysia could well be seen as admitting to them and fear on our part to respond.

"Surely that cannot be what we want?" Gobind (above) asked in a press statement released today.

The French court has initiated an corruption inquiry into Paris-based company DCNS on the sale of two Scorpene submarines to Malaysia on a request filed by Malaysian-based human rights NGO Suaram.

Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who had declared that he was "ever willing" to assist in the investigation, reversed his stand after the inquiry started, saying that neither he nor any representative from the ministry would attend the hearing.

'Najib is duty-bound to explain'

"Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak as head of the Malaysian government is duty bound to explain to us why his administration isn't giving the inquiry all the assistance it needs in order to clear our nation from any perception that its officials have wrongly conducted themselves in any transaction involving public funds," Gobind said.

Attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail as the top legal officer in the country, he added, must also make public his recommendation to the prime minister and the government on this matter.

"Isn't the AG interested in findings against those alleged to have committed criminal acts through this inquiry, if any? Wouldn't he want to consider action against them as well?" Gobind further asked.

The Scorpene scandal, he said, has become a national concern and it therefore went against country's best interests to remain silent, given the nature of the reports that have already come out of the French investigation.

The most recent revelation from the inquiry was that Terasasi (Hong Kong) Sdn Bhd had sold top secret documents on the Royal Malaysian Navy's evaluation of the purchase order for the Scorpene-class submarines.

The director of Terasasi is Abdul Razak Baginda, a close associate of Najib.