Updated: Scorpene motion torpedoed

Monday, 11 Jun 2012, 06:22

 

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An emergency motion aimed at discussing the alleged sale of highly secret Scorpene submarine-related documents to a French company was rejected in Parliament today.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia rejected the Lembah Pantai MP (PKR) Nurul Izzah Anwar’s motion in his chambers this morning, as it did not adhere to Standing Order 23(1)(h).

The Standing Order states:

“A question shall not be asked for the purpose of obtaining an expression of opinion, the solution of an abstract legal case or the answer to a hypothetical proposition.”

He later told the Dewan Rakyat that the alleged sale was still an “assumption”, and not official.

“The matter raised in this motion is an assumption, and not a specific matter, because the matter about the transaction sale of the documents is not clear.

“…It is still an allegation,” Pandikar said.

FMT previously reported the disclosure by Suaram about the sale of the document – which supposedly contained an evaluation of the Scorpenes by the Navy and contract details – to French-based DCNS for 36 million euros (RM142 million).

Suaram’s lawyers said that the secret document was sold by Terasasi (Hong Kong) Ltd, whose directors are Abdul Razak Baginda and his father Abdul Malim Baginda.

Both are believed to be closely linked to Najib.

Speaker’s decision ‘disappointing’

The document was allegedly sold to Thales International, also known as Thint Asia, 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 courts, 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 Spanish Navantia in 2002.

Nurul later told reporters that it was “disappointing” that MPs were not given a chance to debate the matter.

 

Also present was Sungai Petani MP Johari Abdul who demanded that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigate the matter.

“How can they [Terasasi] have information of specification on the submarine?… Don’t wait for us to make a police report,” he said.

He also said that even the Maltese Parliament was discussing the Scorpene scandal, and hinted at Malaysia’s reluctance to do so.

The Maltese Parliament was told that the French-owned Malta-based financial consultancy Gifen was being investigated by French officials over commission allegations involving Perimekar Sdn Bhd, once owned by Abdul Razak.

 

Sunday Opposition to move motion on Scorpene deal

Malaysian Opposition MP Nurul Izzah Anwar will on Monday June 11 move an emergency motion to discuss the alleged sale of a highly-classified Royal Malaysian Navy document to a French defence company that was awarded a billion euro contract to supply Malaysia with two Scorpene submarines and an Agosta ship.

Vice-president of the Opposition party Nurul Izzah Anwar will today demand Parliament discuss developments in the ongoing Scorpene submarine case, including the discovery that national defence secrets have been sold to the French company DCN winning the contract in 2002.

 

Lembah Pantai parliamentarian Nurul Izzah Anwar, in an urgent parliamentary motion filed last Thursday, wants the government to answer allegations that a confidential Royal Malaysian Navy document was sold to a French defence company.

Filed under Standing Orders 18(11), it demanded that the Defence Ministry explain in detail the issue of commission paid for the purchase of the Scorpene submarines and as well as on the sale of secret documents. 

The motion comes after French lawyer Joseph Breham, lawyer for human rights movement Suaram,revealed on May 30 in its corruption case against French shipbuilder DCNS, that the company had paid 36 million euro (RM142 million) to Terasasi (Hong Kong) Ltd, ostensibly for "commercial engineering" works.

Breham said French investigative judges probing the case had inquired what those payments were for and had demanded reports of financial transactions from the company, when they discovered the confidential navy document. According to Breham, it was an evaluation for the order of the submarines. Two of the Terasasi directors are Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's close associate Abdul Razak Baginda, and his father, Abdul Malim Baginda.

"I urge the government to explain in detail the role of Terasasi, and that of Abdul Razak, in the transaction of the submarines," she stated in her motion

Negotiations for the contract started in 1999. In March 2001 Jean-Marie Bouvin who brokered such deals on behalf of DCN set up a company called ‘Gifen’ in Malta with the registered address of Peralta Custodian Ltd. in Valletta.  

After the year 2000 bribes paid by French companies to win contracts overseas became punishable by prison and fines so French companies created fictitious companies like Gifen to conceal the money paid to politicians and officials to win contracts. French judges investigating the case have found documents showing that ‘Gifen’ was used to facilitate the transit of money from one account to another and to pay for trips of the persons involved in this deal.

French lawyer Joseph Breham last May revealed that a highly-confidential government document on the Malaysian Navy’s evaluation of the Scorpene submarines it planned to buy was sold by Terasasi (Hong Kong) Ltd to French defence giant DCNS for €36 million.

Abdul Razak Baginda , a former think-tank head who was at the centre of a 2006 investigation into the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu, is listed as a director of Terasasi with his father, Abdul Malim Baginda.

The company was previously incorporated on June 28, 2002 as Kinabalu Advisory and Support Services Ltd, according to the Hong Kong Companies Registry.

The data was purportedly for “commercial engineering” works, Breham, who is acting for activist group Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) in an ongoing inquiry in Paris, had told a news conference in Bangkok yesterday.

Suaram had filed a complaint against DCNS in a French court last month. The court’s two-man panel has asked for the shipbuilder’s financial transaction reports, Breham said.

“They were given information which is already available on the Internet and newspapers, except for this one document,” Breham said, referring to investigating magistrates at the Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance.

“It was a secret document by the Malaysian Navy, an evaluation for the order of the submarines, which is a highly confidential report,” he added.

Malaysia paid a billion euro in 2009 for the two submarines of which RM574 million was earmarked for co-ordination and support services for Perimekar Sdn Bhd, owned by Abdul Razak.

Abdul Razak is being sought as a witness in the French case.

 

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