The RM2.3 billion Eurocopters sale contract must be probe by Public Accounts Committee (PAC), suggests Lim Kit Siang, MP of Ipoh Timur and supremo of DAP.
The simple logic behind it is that, if PAC did not investigate the billion Ringgit deal with an excuse that the government has canceled the deal, it will look like another scandalous mega-project being swept under the BN's corruption carpet.
To date, Azmi Khalid the chairman of PAC has yet to submit an adequate response to the status of the inquiries on the investigations into the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone and the Middle Ring Road II.
* RM88 Million dumped into the swamp
From MalaysiaInsider: DAP insists PAC continue probing Eurocopter deal
By Shannon Teoh
PETALING JAYA, Oct 27 - Despite the government shelving the Eurocopter deal, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang today insisted that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) should continue investigating the proposed RM2.3 billion defence contract for procurement irregularities.
The Malaysian Insider reported yesterday that Malaysia will cancel buying 12 Eurocopter EC725 military helicopters due to the bleak world economic outlook. The PAC announced last week it will meet over the deal when parliament reconvenes this Wednesday.
"Even if the helicopter deal is cancelled, PAC is duty-bound to investigate into the highly dubious and controversial procurement process as it runs counter to all principles of accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance," said Lim, who is DAP parliamentary leader, in a statement today.
The veteran opposition leader said the PAC investigations should be "to identify, if there exist, irregularities or oversights and should such faults be discovered, to recommend the adherence of standard procedures or benchmarking for future tender exercise".
National news agency Bernama reported yesterday evening that "in the wake of the global economic crisis, the government will have to discuss further whether to go ahead with the purchase of new helicopters to replace the ageing Nuris in the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF)".
The Defence Ministry had earlier announced it would sign a letter of intent for the dozen military helicopters, to be used for combat and also search and rescue missions apart from troop transport, to replace the Nuris that have been in service since 1968. The RMAF has about 30 Nuris left after suffering 18 crashes that killed 95 servicemen since the aircraft entered service.
Lim said any eventual PAC report should provide answers to several questions, including the reasons for the bid price ballooning from 233,345,390 euros or RM1.1 billion to RM2.3 billion. "Has the other half, RM1.2 billion, allocated to middlemen for maintenance service over the next 40 years?" he asked.
He also questioned the rationale for Malaysia paying over twice the price for the EC725 helicopters as compared to Brazil, which is reportedly getting 50 EC725 helicopters at RM84 million per aircraft compared to the RM193 million price tag for the RM2.3 billion Eurocopter deal.
"Shouldn't Malaysia be getting over 100 EC725 helicopters at the Brazilian price instead of just 12?"
The Ipoh Timur MP also added that the Eurocopter inquiry was a test of the PAC's "performance, efficacy and usefulness."
"On record, has PAC done anything to prevent consummation of scandal tainted mega-deals or has its investigations so far brought anyone especially the big-wigs to account?"
He cited the investigations into the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone and the Middle Ring Road II as examples and called on PAC chairman Datuk Azmi Khalid to give an adeqaute response to the status of these inquiries.
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