By Shannon Teoh
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 — The DAP has called for the RM2.3 billion Eurocopter deal to be suspended pending the outcome of the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) investigation.
its Parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang said in a media statement today.
The Ipoh Timur MP had also asked the government to suspend the deal last week when it was revealed that the 12 Cougar EC725 helicopters being purchased would cost far more than other helicopters in the running.
Soon after, the PAC said it would scrutinise the deal and the Defence Ministry had also defended the deal saying it followed regulations.
However, it has also recently surfaced that Brazil would be acquiring 50 “Super Cougar” helicopters at RM4.2 billion, or RM84 million each. The 12 Cougars to be deployed by the RMAF average RM193 million each.
Lim called for the PAC to have independent experts advise on the investigation.
“Parliament should empower the PAC to engage consultants knowledgeable in aviation… and not be totally dependent on the Defence Ministry or Royal Malaysian Air Force,” he said.
He also urged the PAC to show greater urgency in investigating the deal as well as the RM5 billion Maybank takeover of Bank Internasional Indonesia and Telekom Malaysia’s RM11.3 billion high-speed broadband contract.
According to Lim, PAC has decided last Wednesday to scrutinise the three “mega-scandals” highlighted by the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition in the 2009 budget debate.
- the RM5 billion Maybank purchase of Bank International Indonesia at five times the book value
- the RM2.3 billion defence deal for 12 Cougar EC725 helicopter
- the awarding of the RM11.3 billion high-speed broadband contract to TM Bhd
“I understand the PAC has not scheduled any meetings to begin its examination of the three scandals which is shocking. The PAC should work extra hard to scrutinise the three mega deals without delay.”
SA Hamzah: What the writer failed to mention or conveniently decided to omit is the fact that Malaysia is buying the EC-725 at a whopping price of more than RM193 million each compared to other countries such as Brazil which are buying it at only RM82 million each.
That is a whopping difference of RM111 million each paid by our taxpayers. It makes me wonder how can someone like the writer (assuming that he is a Malaysian citizen) does not feel it justified that we scrutinise this kind of shady deals.
For his information, Brazil’s procurement deal not only included the setting up of an MRO centre but also a facility to build the aircraft locally for the Latin American market.
Whereas in Malaysian case, the MRO centre for Eurocopter had already been setup prior to the purchase.
As such, the procurement cost by the Malaysian government should be by right much cheaper since we can exclude the cost of setting up an MRO centre.
hope the writer will be able to clarify the above issues from an economic perspective and justify why we have to purchase equipment at twice the price.
If the author has any conscience, he will also feel guilty of other military procurement deals done by our country which followed the same shady trend. It is time for us all to say the buck stops here.
Why Brazil can get a better deal?
Lim Kit Siang also said that the committee should also investigate the way the “tender team has carried out the selection and check the scoring system to ensure there is no partiality in the grading”.
“Of particular interest to the PAC is the price differential in the Eurocopter deal by Malaysia as compared to Brazil, which is acquiring 50 ‘Super Cougar’ units from Eurocopter at a price consideration of US$1.2 billion, of which the first unit will be delivered in 2010, giving an average unit price of RM84 million as compared to the average unit price of RM193 million for the RMAF’s 12 Cougar EC725 helicopters.”