The RM2.3 billion Eurocopter fiasco – suspend Letter of Intent

The first thing Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi did as Defence Minister was to announce on 26th September that the Defence Ministry has agreed to acquire new helicopters from European helicopter manufacturer, the Eurocopter, to replace the Nuri.

This RM2 billion deal lacks accountability and integrity.

Four helicopters had been “short-listed” by the Ministry of Defence to replace the fleet of Sikorsky S61-A4 Sea Kings better known as the Nuri.

The four are the Eurocopter Cougar EC725, Sikorsky S92, Agusta Westland EH-101 Merlin and the Russian-made Mil Mi-17 Hip.

However, Abdullah shocked everyone with his announcement as the “short-listing” had not been completed and the pricing of the EC725 is not competitive compared with the other helicopters.

The pricing offered by the “short-listed” helicopters are:

Eurocopter Cougar EC 725 – Euro 463.44 juta (RM2.317 billion);
Sikorsky – US$427.20 juta (RM1.45 billion)
Canadian Kelowna Flightcraft Ltd. Model Kazan MI-172 buatan Russia
– US$312 juta (RM1.061 billion)

This means that there is a difference of RM1.256 billion between Eurocopter Cougar EC 725 with the lowest bidder, the Kazan MI-172 KF – in other words, with US$600 million the Royal Malaysian Air Force can buy 26 units of Kazan helicopters and not just 12 Cougar helicopters.

In his speech yesterday, the Opposition Leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim referred to the complaint by the Chairman of Mentari Services Sdn. Bhd. Kapt (B) Dato’ Zahar Hashim about the irregularity of the Eurocopter decision, and this is not just confined to the Kelowna Flightcraft Limited, Canada which submitted the bid for the Russian helicopter but also the other “short-listed” bidders as well, viz:

• Proses penilaian belum selesai tetapi dengan secara tiba-tiba arahan diberi oleh pihak tertentu supaya Letter of Intent (LOI) dikeluarkan kepada Eurocopter. LOI tersebut ditandatangan oleh seorang pegawai paras menengah di Kementerian Pertahanan dan bertarikh 15th Septmber 2008 iaitu dua hari sebelum Datuk Seri Najib Razak berpindah dari Kementerian Pertahanan ke Kementerian Kewangan.

• Kerja yang sudah selesai adalah penelitian dokumen-dokumen tender yang dikemukakan oleh penender-penender. Penilaian fizikal iaitu memeriksa permis dan kilang penender-penender dan melakukan penerbangan ujian (test flights) belum dilakukan oleh kerana kebenaran dari pihak atasan di Kementerian Pertahanan dan Kementerian Kewangan untuk berbuat demikian belum diperolehi. Sewajarnya, penilaian fizikal adalah lebih mustahak dari penilaian dokumen-dokumen (documentary evaluation) dan anggota-anggota yang terlibat berasa hairan apabila mengetahui bahawa LOI telah dikeluarkan sebelum penilaian fizikal dilakukan.

• Proses pengeluaran LOI kepada Eurocopter agak luar biasa dan bertentangan dengan prosedur yang telah diamalkan selama ini. Biasanya LOI dikeluarkan setelah proses penilaian secara menyeluruh selesai dan sebuah jawatankuasa yang dianggotai oleh wakil-wakil dari Kementerian Kewangan dan Kementerian Pertahanan capai kata sepakat tentang produk yang terbaik bersesuaian dengan belanjawan yang telah diperuntukkan. Mereka turut berpendapat bahawa adalah menakjubkan bahawa LOI bagi kontrak yang bernilai melebihi Dua Bilion Ringgit ditandatangan oleh seorang pegawai Kerajaan bertaraf Setiausaha Bahagian dan bukan seorang yang bertaraf sekurang-kurangnya Timbalan Ketua Setiausaha.

The following are therefore the issues and questions:-

• Technical evaluation process did not follow standard international practice and was not transparent.

• Short-listing of the aircraft not as normally practiced in such tender process.

• What is the criteria for evaluating these aircraft. Is it following standard evaluation process in technical terms. Has it carried out any flight evaluation of all the aircraft.

There have been cases where manufacturers have not been able to prove what they have written in paper when flight test was carried out. There has also been instances where the manufacturers had used a different and higher performance aircraft than was specified in the written technical paper during flight test. This is why it is VERY important that a flight test valuation is carried out to ensure they comply with the specs given in the written documents.

I understand that the EC725 selected is a 40-year old aircraft, certified in the 60s and 70s. It has been modified and upgraded all these while and given a new name and term. Can this EC 725 be guaranteed to last another 40 more years with all the modifications and upgrading anticipated?

If RMAF is buying this 40-yr old aircraft, then it might as well keep the Nuris, modify and upgrade them now. It will cost only a fraction of a new aircraft, especially taking into account the Sikorsky offer had reported by Berita Minggu of 1st June 2008, viz:

Syarikat pengeluar helikopter terkemuka dunia, Sikorsky Aircroft Corporation (Sikorsky) membuat tawaran kepada Kementerian Pertahanan untuk membeli kembali 29 helikopter Nuri atau Sikorsky S-61-A4 Sea Kings, jika Malaysia membuat keputusan membeli helicopter barunya, Superhawks S-92 untuk kegunaan Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (ATM).

Eksekutif Jualan Serantau Sikorsky bagi Asia, Scott Pierce, berkata tawaran itu dibuat melalui bida dikemukakan syarikatnya kepada kementerian berkenaan, selepas Malaysia mengumumkan tawaran tender terbuka antarabangsa berhubung pembelian helicopter baru bagi pasukan itu.

Katanya, jika Malaysia memutuskan terus menggunakan Nuri bersama helicopter terbarunya, Sikorsky yang juga anak syarikat United Technologies Corporation (UTC), menyatakan komitmen membaik pulih atau meningkatkan khidmat Nuri di Negara ini.

“Sikorsky sedia membeli semua baki Nuri daripada TUDM untuk dijual kepada mana-mana pihak yang berminat, tetapi juga TUDM masih mahu menggunakan Nuri bersama helicopter S-92, kita sanggup membaik pulih dan meningkatkan helicopter berusia lebih 40 tahun itu, termasuk menukar daripada kokpit konvensional kepada kokpit kaca (digital).

“Tugas balik pulih Nuri akan membabitkan pemindahan teknologi terkini dan kepakaran kepada orang tempatan”, katanya kepada Berita Minggu pada temu bual di sini, baru-baru ini.

I am not a spokesman for Sikorsky, but this offer warrants an explanation from the Ministry of Defence as to the critera for the final selection of Eurocopter among the four “short-listed” bids.

The government had allocated US$600 million (RM1.93 billion) to buy an initial fleet of 12 helicopters, which will be in service until 2050.

Last year, the government cancelled a defence deal with the European aerospace giant EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company) for 197 helicopters to the country’s army following adverse observations by Indian watchdog authorities over alleged irregularities in the defence bidding process.

According to published reports, Eurocopter allegedly used a local firm, Global Vectra Helicorp, to help broker the deal despite a ban in India on the use of middlemen in defence deal.

Eurocopter was also accused of presenting a civilian helicopter instead of a military version for statutory field trials by the Indian army.

But what should attract the attention and concern of Parliament is that the EADS deal to sell 197 Eucopters to the Indian government was a US$600 million which the Indian government subsequently cancelled.

Parliament and the nation are entitled to know why for the same amount of US$600 million, the Indian government was offered 197 Eurocopters as compared to 12 Eurocopters to Malaysia.
In the name of accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance, I call for the immediate suspension of the RMAF helicopter award to subject it to a proper and above-board procurement process.

(Speech 3 on the 2009 Budget in Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday, 14.10.08)

  1. #1 by frontbench on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 5:18 pm

    Are the choppers compatible with ground support system to fight in the digital age?

  2. #2 by cazz on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 5:52 pm
    check this article out, in 9th paragragh: “The military EC725 can cost in excess of 20 million euros because of the need for specialized equipment, he said.”

    Each EC725 should only cost 20+million Euros. Why the hell are we paying (465.44 / 12) = 38m Euros per chopper for?


  3. #3 by budak on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 6:00 pm

    India intended to buy 197 Eurocopter, quotation received USD600million

    M’sia intended to buy 12 Eurocopter, prepared to pay USD600million

    btw, how much dah bocor …???
    or the rest of the helicopter may use for UMNO-BN flying to Taiwan… :-)

  4. #4 by homeblogger on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 6:13 pm

    Why all the fuss? Do you know how much money it takes to satisfy an UMNOputra’s many wants, needs and lusts? I think we should be thankful that we are paying only 38 million euros for each copter. I’m sure they spent at least 15.7 seconds to consider the rakyat’s feelings carefully. I’m sure they also spent 5.2 seconds to think about the millions of poor rakyat who have no proper home nor food. They have fulfilled their responsibility. Now they deserve the filthy amounts of money they can siphon off of the deal. After all, this is for copters for the nations security. Why should we complain? How DARE we…

  5. #5 by HJ Angus on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 6:29 pm

    The basic problem with the Sikorsky offer is that it is the company making a direct offer to the MoD so how to cari makan?
    We definitely need a Parliamentary Defence Committee that has experts in weaponry and defense contracts – the PAC is not good enough and they should summon the Defence Minister to answer questions.

  6. #6 by Jan on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 6:37 pm

    Each copter is worth almost RM200 million. Almost the same price as the PM’s luxury jet. What sort of copter commands such a ridiculous price? Must be gold plated joy-stick and diamond studded gauges. This must be investigated fully we don’t want a case similar to the scorpenes where we pay ridiculous commission.
    By the way why was the PM’s son’s company involved in the procurement. Is it another toll gate? Looks like this govt is stinking to high heavens the way it runs things.

  7. #7 by Ham on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 6:42 pm




  8. #8 by Kasim Amat on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 6:42 pm

    Please note that the helicopters India was intending to buy were Eurocopter 350B3 which is significantly different from what our country is buying now. I have reasons to believe the decision was made after intensive testing of all the helicopter models and all the due diligence and evaluation process has been carried out. One should not look at the face value but should look at the details of the copters we are buying. It includes not only the copter itself but other equipments, training and other services. Malaysia deserves to be served by better quality helicopters nowadays. The government has been very transparent in disclosing the amount of purchase. Please try to convey the right message to the people and do not create anti-government sentiment and misunderstanding out of this trivial matter. During this difficult period, we should focus on our economical development and nothing else. Don’t let little things interrupt what we are doing and that could lead to a disaster.

  9. #9 by AhPek on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 6:44 pm

    The bid for 197 Eurocopters submitted to Defence Ministry of India is US600 million vs that for 12 Eurocopters submitted to Malaysia’s Defence Ministry which is also of the same amount.On the one hand India rejected the offer whilst on the other Malaysia has given a letter of intent to buy it.If it is not corruption then what is??

  10. #10 by hadi on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 7:26 pm

    RMAF and Malaysia deserve the best and state of the art weapon system. The problem is why do thing in the manner as though something fishy is going on.
    The complaint by the contender is justified. If only right from the beginning, the staff requirement and all the procurement procedures are adhered to, this will not be an issue.
    Who is to be blamed now or is there a bigger conspiracy going on with all the hidden agenda. The best thing is to open it up for investigation if we have nothing to hide. Be honest and don’t abuse your power.

  11. #11 by kftang on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 7:33 pm

    If it is true that the Eurocopter Cougar EC725 is a 40-year-old aircraft which is modified and upgraded and given a new name and term, then the Ministry of Defence should shelve any idea of short-listing it from among the aircrafts it is going to purchase to replace the Nuris. There shouldn’t be any compromise on the reliability and worthiness of the aircrafts Mindef is going to purchase!

  12. #12 by smeagroo on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 7:54 pm

    how come during GE, i dont see PR candidates bring out all these unnecessary spendings by the ruling gomen? By breaking down what the rakyat has to forego so that the elite few can hv luxury lifestyles will surely change their lame brains into making the rite decision.

    Any monetary gifts during GE like Rm1000 per fmaily also wont be enough. RM1000 for 5years, making it just rm200 bonus per year. The amount they plunder which could hv been put to better use far outweighs the mere rm200/year bonus from the sugar daddies.

    1billion per case such as this adds up to the final tally of what we all could hv reaped today.

  13. #13 by AhPek on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 8:06 pm

    Two letters by Datuk Captain Zahar Hashim allege irregularities in the award to Eurocopter’s bid and the irregularities are;-

    (a) It is more than RM1.4 billion over the lowest bidder.

    (b) No proper evaluation conducted by the Ministry of Defence,only documentary evaluation.Physical evaluation such as inspecting the premises and factories of the bidder as well as test flights are not carried out.

    (c) Letter of Intent was signed by a mid-ranking officer!!

    (d) The deal was signed 2 days before Najib swapped portfolios with Abdullah.

    And yet here’s what Kassim Amat says; ‘I have reasons to believe the decision was made after intensive testing of all the helicopter models and all the due diligence and evaluation process has been carried out.’
    Intensive testing as emphasised by you is but a strenuous effort to defend your UMNOPUTRA’s robbing of the public.You however made it worse by not knowing the facts of the case.You know you might as well say “We are not in the business of cheating.”.

  14. #14 by bexe3 on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 10:24 pm

    I think all the Suppliers should be told and put on record that the Malaysian Parliament will look at this transaction with a fine tooth comb as your duty of oversight.

    Anyone of them who commits to bribing any Malaysian Government Official would be brought to book and will be treated as any criminal should they break any of our laws.
    This may deter them from agreeing to any under-table pay-offs.

  15. #15 by js on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 10:35 pm

    We need Penang Monorail than helicopter if you think it is for the benefit of rakyat.

  16. #16 by vsp on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 10:40 pm

    Why so many military hardware are been bought lately?: submarines, helicopters, fighters jets and many others. Is Malaysia going for war?

    To be frank, if Malaysia were to go to war with even our tiny southern neighbour it will be unceremoniously defeated even before the first fighter jet scramble into the air.

    Why do I say this: look at the number of fighter jets and helicopter falling out from the sky throughout the years. Malaysia is very good in buying expensive hardware but the maintenance is anything to be proud of.

    Also, are the present crop of maintenance crew up to the mark? If they are not able to read the manuals, which would inevitably be in English, Russian or French, how are they going to do a good job?

    The only conclusion I can draw from this is that the UMNOputras are uncontrollably getting greedy without considering what consequences this would do to the country.

  17. #17 by katdog on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 10:57 pm

    Ok, i must point out there are several things here.

    Yes the EC725 is based on the AS 532 Couger heli devoloped in 1977. But that does NOT make it a 40 year old aircraft. Please note:

    “The EC 725 was developed to meet a French Air Force requirement for a specialist helicopter for Combat Search & Rescue operations after the AS 532 A2 Cougar model was rejected for this purpose following extensive trials between 1996 and 1999. The more ambitious EC 725 design made its maiden flight at Marignane on the 27th November 2000”

    The first EC725 came into operation on 2000!!! It is not a 40 year old aircraft!

    Secondly, the S92 and Mi-172 are primarily CIVILIAN passenger helicopters.

    Notes on S92:
    The S-92 took its maiden flight in December 1998. The S-92 is the civilian variant. The H-92 Superhawk is the military variant

    Notes Mi-172:
    The Mi-172 is a civil Passenger version of the military Mi7 (also known by the russians domestically as the Mi8) manufactured in Kazan plant. The Mi8 first flew in 1961!!! Even older than the Couger!

    Please do some background research before you shoot off. It is quite possible that in terms of specifications, the EC725 tops the rest of the helicopters. The only question is, was the purchase price ‘padded’ for the benefit of some middle men?

  18. #18 by justice6 on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 11:04 pm

    Kasim Amat Says:.”..Please try to convey the right message to the people and do not create anti-government sentiment and misunderstanding out of this trivial matter…”

    Kasim, you called millions RM trivial???? then pls get the govt to give us all 1 million since it’s so TRIVIAL .. do you know how many family don’t have proper home and meal? Since you know this is a difficult time, what the fcuk we are spending so much on this? just becos this is tax payer money and not the govt money?? I suggest you dig a hole and jump in … cos it’s only a trivial matter if you do..

  19. #19 by kerajaan.rakyat on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 11:07 pm

    “On February 28 1933, the Nazi Party decreed emergency laws for the ‘defence of the people and the State’. These decrees of public safety abolished most of the constitutional liberties: the freedom of the Press, the right to hold meetings, the respect for correspondence, the inviolability of the home and habeas corpus. Their effect was to deliver the German people to the tender mercies of the police, which could act without restriction or responsibility, practise secret arrests and perpetual detention without accusation, proof, public audience, or lawyer. No jurisdiction could oppose them, order a release or demand a re-examination of the files.”

    That sounds very familiar.., brings to mind the draconian use of ISA, Sedition Act etc. Won’t you agree??


  20. #20 by HJ Angus on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 11:14 pm

    This helicopter deal pales in comparison to the RM20bil contract placed by PDRM.
    I suggest any contract more than RM500mil should come under the control of Parliamentary committees that can consult experts in their field.
    PAC is not enough when so many deals are being made that cost billions.

  21. #21 by katdog on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 11:16 pm

    I believe the french bought 13 EC725 for E230 million or about RM1.1 billion. So yes, looks like there might have been some ‘padding’ going on?

  22. #22 by aries66 on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 11:22 pm

    Have so many coppers for what ??? Our crime rates still no minimised. Why not using this in expense to help RAKYAT of the
    poor and improve country infrastucter.

  23. #23 by vsp on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 11:25 pm

    Definitely, the Eurocopter Cougar EC725 is a more sophisticated machine than the Nuri. Can our present crop of factory-produced graduates be able to handle it?

    If not, then expect the rate of failure of the Eurocopter Cougar EC725 to be greater than the Nuris.

  24. #24 by monsterball on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 11:26 pm

    From the smallest …to the biggest item….all have shown clear evidences…prices are inflated……like a chair worth RM120….sold to the government for RM500 each…..thousands of them….just to name one…and so many hundreds of items…all exposed….yet UMNO ignored and Malaysians have to move on with their lives..but never forget.
    Voted against them…..yet the keep repeating clear corruptions.
    UMNO owes so much unpaid bills on elections and Permatang Pauh by elections….to suppliers.
    On demand for payments..UMNO is back at it’s best…making all sorts of excuses….how not to pay.
    Raised 78 sen on petrol price…when crude oil market price was around. US75..shot up to. US102 per barrel.
    So they raised 78 sen…making Malaysians pay.
    Now crude is back to US75…they reduce oil price…by another..10 sen….a total of 30 sen.
    Where is the other 48 sen?
    This means Petronas is infact making much much more profit..than before .the 78 sen thrown to the public.
    Why is UMNO focusing …huge huge profits for Petronas…..ignoring difficult living conditions…… ordinary wage workers ..Malaysians??
    UMNO will have few more multi billion project…before next election…to have billions…to buy people …promoting bribery and corruptions to the highest levels….going for broke…make or break in 13 th election…with stolen money…from Malaysians.
    The have no ways to win the 13th election…except by massive briberies and corruptions.

  25. #25 by cinaindiamelayubersatu on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 11:27 pm

    cerpen ringkas imaginasiku bertajuk helikopter.
    ah..aku terpaksa untuk berundur..aku tak rela tapi apakah daya, tsunaminya terlalu kuat.aku berusaha gigih menyalurkan wang negaraku ke luar negeri untuk pencenku.meibank aku arahkan untuk membuat sedikit songsangan,aku harap aku berjaya.imbuhannya lumayan,boleh sampai ke tujuh generasi.aku bertukar posisi,alah kalau di tempat yang sama mungkin gerak geriku diperhatikan.aku ke pertahanan,maklumlah dah kena bersara aku kena pertahankan pengaliran wangku ke luar negeri.kali ini aku arahkan pembelian mesin yang mampu terbang.setiap kali aku tertidur aku sering bermimpi berterbangan di udara dengan wang wangku yang tersangat banyak.komisen yang aku dapat sangat lumayan sampai 20 tahun kau tahu.hihihi…kalau dibuat jalan tar boleh sampai dari semporna ke kinabatangan.tapi aku pemurah, aku bagi sikit kepada wakilku dari kinabatangan untuk tutup mulut dia.ku suruh dia menyalak ke pasukan lawan.aku gembira kerana dia menurut kemahuan.
    ah,ada lagi beberapa bulan.aku kini menyongak untuk membuat strategi baru.ok aku katakan kepada para rakyat supaya kena berjimat cermat tetapi usahlah risau kerana ekonomi negaraku tetap kukuh walaupun negara jiran di selatan telah mengeluarkan arahan berjaga jaga telah berlaku kegawatan.aku tidak pasti aku berjaya tapi ah biarkan lah.aku kini dipertahanan biarkan orang baru di sana membotakkan lagi kepalanya memikirkan pemasalahan ini. kini aku dah letih, tapi aku gembira kerana wangku tersangat banyak.aku hendak tidur…aku harap ada buaian mimpi indah…

  26. #26 by bclee on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 11:38 pm

    Hello Kasim Amat do u know what u talking about or no?
    the contract has been awarded without proper handling and far more higher than what market value.
    where is check and balance then now?
    it is fair for the rest of the 3 other tenders?
    isn’t it,it should be open tender then why suddenly award without proper process?
    the taxpayer money can not be spend like this?
    it is all rakyat hard earn money,it should spend wisely.

  27. #27 by Only Peace on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 11:41 pm

    Very fishy deal.

    How come our Ministers only take concern of big declassified deal which do not need to be transparent-ed?

  28. #28 by Only Peace on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 11:44 pm

    It seems to me that our Government always buy at the premium price but being delivered the substandard goods.

    We are made to be a laughing stock in the eyes of the World!

  29. #29 by imranj78 on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 11:55 pm

    Dear LKS,
    You have got a point that the government can be more transparent on this matter but you must also understand that this is an ongoing tender and there has to be some form of confidentiality to maintain the integrity of the tender.

    While you have raised your points above, you have failed to mentioned the following which adversely affects the points you listed:
    – The helicopters proposed for the Indian military is significantly different then the one being proposed for the Malaysian military. Hence you just cannot compare the numbers as you are not comparing apple to apple here.
    – Kapt (B) Dato’ Zahar Hashim, the guy who raised this matter, represents the company bidding to supply the Kazan helicopters. Of course it is in his interest for the tender to be reevaluated and for his lowest bid to be given the contract. As such, it is highly suspicious and brings up some integrity issues. I am surprised that you have not raised this matter in your article. Whether this is on purpose or not I am not sure but it is a gross oversight on your part to not bring it up as it has great consequences.

    This matter needs to be cleared up that’s for sure. But also please be cognisant of the potentially dubious complaints that have been brought up and also the possibility that we as the public might not have a true picture of the tender criteria. The price is just one factor but evaluation of technical criteria and the overall commercial offer has to be compared as well. In your article above, you are `tunnel-visioned’ and being ignorantly simplistic by just looking at the price only.

  30. #30 by HJ Angus on Thursday, 16 October 2008 - 12:33 am

    Defense contracts tend to be quite secret as we are dealing with sensitive information.
    You really do not want your potential enemies to know all the specs of your military hardware.
    But if you look at what happened as per the Altantuuya murder, any secret can be disclosed by using the age-old tactic of wine, women and song.

    That is why a select committee of Parliament should vet the specs and the tender evaluation process – that is one way of ensuring some transparency and also keeping national defense secrets.

  31. #31 by monsterball on Thursday, 16 October 2008 - 1:13 am

    What enemies is UMNO expecting to invade…attack Malaysia?
    Why go for he best war copters…like as if… Malaysia is defending another coming of ” Chin Peng..the Terrible”..or fight the so call devils….from Isreal….openly support Palestinians and quietly …make go friends with the Jews.
    Such cunning art and craft….all enemies will love Malaysia…no enemies.
    Copters are basically for surveillance work…rescues… …catching run away robbers..sea pirates….flood rescues…just to name a few…to be practical and logical.
    Why buy most expensive submarines…and helicopters???
    You mean…our force is so well train on warfares?
    What wars are they expecting?
    No no no…it is plain ad clear…buy from one country…UMNO can get huge commission….and when that’s the most expensive and with a huge …inflated prices.
    Afterall…corruptions are corruptions….so why not go for the biggest…for the biggest commission…as shown by Mahathir?
    Everything UMNO do…defies logic and commonsense….except….doing everything with commissions for themselves.
    Thus….these hantus…so shouted LKS at parliaments are blood suckers.

  32. #32 by wtf2 on Thursday, 16 October 2008 - 8:03 am

    the bodowi will come out and make another stupid blanket statement later like “there is no reason to investigate the deal” and everybody from the PAC, ACA etc will just drop the ball and pretend nothing happens….

  33. #33 by malaysia-united on Thursday, 16 October 2008 - 8:56 am

    Our pm is bodowi, beside flip flop, bodo, sleepy, talking nonsense, what he is capable to do? Reformation in 5 mths time since he fail to do it in the past 5 years?

    Our next prime minister is Najis. This botak head ‘C4″ the mongolian women after had anal s*x with her, kaki prostitute, corruption in submarine case, jet fighter and eurocopter, blur-blur not aware of the economy crisis, escape from budget debate, my God, any good things about him?

    Next MCA head will be Ong Tee Kiat? talk more than do, talk pusing pusing, Chua ‘porno’ CD? Chua Jui Meng? Speechless…

    What future our malaysian have with all these scums as leaders?

  34. #34 by k1980 on Thursday, 16 October 2008 - 9:11 am

    So this deal is one of his “reforms” during the last 5 months of his administration

  35. #35 by taiking on Thursday, 16 October 2008 - 9:13 am

    Kassim said:

    “One should not look at the face value but should look at the details of the copters we are buying.”

    Good idea.

    Can you pls get the details and post them here for uncle kit’s info.

  36. #36 by taiking on Thursday, 16 October 2008 - 9:30 am

    My children’s school used to have a retiree volunteer who took it upon himself to help direct traffic in and around the school during peak hour.

    He has done so for some time already and the school out of compassion and in recognition of his assistance, paid him some allowance. A tiny sum. He is a volunteer and did not expect anything anyway.

    Last year, some parents in the PTA questioned the payment and the need to have him directing traffic movement and school kids. After some debate he was told to discontinue his good work.

    When the school needs contribution of RM25 from each pupil for electricity because of extended school hours (air-con fees), the request came in the form of a page long explanation.

    Here, we are talking about billions and not hundreds. Perhaps, as umnoputras kassim like the rest too has become desensitised by large sums. This way, then it makes sense why he spoke of those billions spent as “trivial matter”.

    Billions?? Its “sap sap shui” man!

  37. #37 by pakmang on Thursday, 16 October 2008 - 10:03 am

    If the ACA unable to perform their task, then i believe the god will as it is talking about corrupting the rakyat money!!! It is only a matter of time to get them punished! Wait & see!

  38. #38 by Thinking Two on Thursday, 16 October 2008 - 10:12 am

    ACA = UMNO

  39. #39 by madmix on Thursday, 16 October 2008 - 10:18 am

    Submarines: done
    Shukoi jets: done
    War ships: deal done, cannot deliver
    Helicopters: almost done
    Tanks: next to done.
    Military satellites: future shopping list
    Mid-range ballistic missiles: shopping list

    Wah lots of commissions to be earned.

  40. #40 by afterburner73 on Thursday, 16 October 2008 - 3:56 pm

    All of you, please do your homework first before shelling the government.

    As a military aviation enthusiast, I have been following the progress of the government’s intention to replace the aging Nuri choppers with great interest, hoping that the folks at the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) would make a good choice for RMAF’s long term use. I was quite happy when the government announced it has made a decision to purchase the Cougars, outbidding 3 other short-listed contenders – the American-made Sikorsky S92; the EH-101 (AW-101) Merlin of British-Italian firm Agusta Westland; and Russia’s Mil Mi-17 Hip manufactured by Kazan Helicopters (under license from Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant which is the original manufacturer). I had always anticipated that it was either going to be the Cougar, Sikorsky or the Merlin, based on RMAF’s requirement for a long-range versatile chopper with high capability for troop transportation and Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR). The Mil Mi-17 on the other hand, is more popular among Eastern bloc nations, with slightly older technology and less options / compatibility to be fitted with current state-of-the-art avionics and eletronic warfare systems.

    To me, Zahar’s two letters dated Oct 7 and 9, addressed to Deputy Prime Minister and former Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (also copied to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), the Public Accounts Committee and the Public Complaints Bureau) is a classic case of being a sourgrape. Obviously angry because his company Mentari Services Sdn Bhd who represented Kelowna Flightcraft of Canada (for Kazan Helicopters) lost the bid, he is now out to get Najib and those at Mindef, hoping to get full support from the Prime Minister, the ACA and the Member of Parliaments in the PAC.

    I feel sad because a sore loser is attempting to screw up the purchase of a helicopter with a proven track record, both during peace and war times. Of course good things come at a price. Here’s a simple analogy. Why do people spend a bomb to buy Mercedes Benz or BMW when they can get a Japanese, Korean or even Malaysian marque for a quarter of the price they originally paid for the mentioned German marques? Well, obviously the Benz or the Beemer offers something beyond what Malaysian-made vehicles has – be it performance, ride, handling, safety and other creature comforts, not to the mention state-of-the art features and other options.

    Okay, let’s look at another analogy which favours Malaysian-made cars, just to be fair. Let’s talk about Russian-made cars. Would you rather be seen in a box-like Lada or the sleek Proton Gen-2? Common sense would tell you, of course the latter which is definitely sexier and ages apart in terms of technology from every aspect. The fact remains until today that Russian made cars such as Lada, Gaz, Moskyith and Iz are poorly designed and highly questionable in terms of reliability. But one thing is for sure, they are bloody cheap.

    Which brings us to the Russian-made Mil Mi-17 Hip chopper, rejected by Mindef in favour of the Cougar. First and foremost, Zahar’s company Mentari Services is obviously several layers down from the chopper’s original parent company back in Russia. It is quite baffling when Zahar claimed his company is representing Kelowna Flightcraft of Canada, which is in fact merely an aviation Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) company in British Columbia which I suspect is the marketing agent for Kazan helicopters in Canada. Even if Mindef decided to choose the Mil Mi-17 choppers, it would be much cheaper for the government to deal direct with Kazan Helicopters or better still, Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant in Russia. Why even the need to deal with Mentari Services which obviously would charge hefty commissions and other hidden / discreet charges anyway? The Malayian government already have a good relationship with the Russian government, having purchased the MIG-29N and Sukhoi MKM-30 air superiority fighters under direct negotiations with the sole Russian government defence-related exporting arm, Rosoboronexport. In fact, the purchase of Mil Mi-17 would have had to be made through Rosobornexport which handles all sales of Russian arms to the international market.

    Zahar also claims that the government could have save RM1.5 billion by opting for the Mil Mi-17 instead of the Cougar. He said that the government could have bought 30 units of the Mil Mi-17 for the amount paid to Eurocopter for the 12 Cougars. This is a clear cut case of quantity versus quality. We have lost too many airmen already each time a Nuri crashes. Will Zahar will be responsible for more lives if the Mil Mi-17 malfunctions mid-air?

    Although I welcome the ACA and PAC’s move to probe the Eurocopter deal, I hope the investigations would be done professionally and objectively with inputs and feedbacks from those who are experts in military aviation – the RMAF especially must play a pivotal role in defending their selection for the Cougars during the inquiry. When it comes to selecting the Nuri replacements, there should be no compromise for quality and safety. The MPs in the PAC especially, should not use this issue for political mileage. The business of defending our country’s sovereignty via land, sea or air is no joke. It comes with a price. Just look at the defence budget for our southern neighbour and we’ll know why. The last thing we want is Malaysia once again being the laughing stock for poor selection of defence equipments and arms. For this matter, the Opposition or potential opportunitist itching to capitalise on this issue for their own mileage should just shut up and leave it to our capable people at Mindef to handle this because it is their business to ensure the country is safe, with the aid of good defence capabilities. And don’t even think of using the “waste of taxpayers’ money” card for this one. As a taxpayer myself, I want my money to be spent on good defence equipment. I don’t want my money to be associated with mediocre defence technology…

  41. #41 by AhPek on Thursday, 16 October 2008 - 3:58 pm

    India has rejected the offer of 197 Eurucopters for US600 million and it is now reported that she will soon sign a contract with Russia to receive 80 Mi-17 multi-role helicopters in a deal that is estimated to be worth US$1billion.
    For US$600million,Malaysia could have got herself 48 Mi-17 multi-role helicopters instead of 12 Eurocopters!!!

  42. #42 by AhPek on Thursday, 16 October 2008 - 7:04 pm

    Or we can do another comparison.Malaysia has signed a LOI to purchase 12 Eurocopters at USD600million which comes up to USD50 million per Eurocopter.She has bought 18 Sukhoi Su-MKM for USD900 million which comes to USD50 million per aircraft which many people already have smelt something fishy going on when compared to similar purchases from countries like India and Vietnam.
    I am terribly confused and I need someone to answer the question whether a helicopter can cost as much as an aircraft?This deal appears to be even more fishy.

    India’s Sukhoi Su-MKI costs USD40 million,a 4.5 generation fighter which costs less than Malaysia’s Sukhoi Su-MKM, a 4th generation fighter.Even more perplexing for corrupt India can still wrangle out a deal which is less than Malaysia’s Eurocopter deal at USD50 million per helicopter.

  43. #43 by katdog on Thursday, 16 October 2008 - 9:00 pm

    “For US$600million,Malaysia could have got herself 48 Mi-17 multi-role helicopters instead of 12 Eurocopters!!!”

    Well, maybe quality is better than quantity? The EC 725 is designed especially for Combat SAR (search and rescue). It is a brand new design (year 2000) for the French military based on the proven Cougar chassis . The Mi-17 however is a 1961 design, and note that the Mi-172 (which is what is actually being offered) is actually a civilian variant of the Mi-17.

    But yes USD50 million per cougar may be overpriced. The EC 725 should probably be more within the price range of USD 25 million each.

  44. #44 by lchk on Thursday, 16 October 2008 - 10:15 pm

    afterburner73 posted:

    “For this matter, the Opposition or potential opportunitist itching to capitalise on this issue for their own mileage should just shut up and leave it to our capable people at Mindef to handle this because it is their business to ensure the country is safe, with the aid of good defence capabilities.”

    Telling others to shut up because there are large shades of gray in this would-be purchase is tantamount in stating that Malaysia is a dictatorship. You might as well state that no-one should be questioning the policies of ANY Ministry in the malaysian government, not just mindef if your convoluted train of thoughts was extended to all spheres of the govt.

    Malaysia is still a parliamentary democarcy even though it is a warped one so everyone has the right to question purchase of big-ticket items by govt ministries – take your own advice and shut yourself up if you can’t post anything beyond insulting the intelligence of Malaysians and contributors here.

  45. #45 by AhPek on Thursday, 16 October 2008 - 10:22 pm

    Katdog,it is actually Mi-17 IV helicopter and I would not be so sure that it has inferior quality cos if it is you wouldn’t find the IAF choosing it and IAF is certainly one of the best airforce in ASia.Its pilots are one of the best in Asia as well.Its negotiators are definitely shrewder and sharper than ours.
    Mi-17 IV is a medium lift multi-role helicopter and is an upgrade of Mi-17.It can function well in hot,high and humid condition,transport troops and cargo,undertake fire-fighting,medical evacuation as well as search and rescue mission and can be quickly armed for combat and special mission.
    Quality is only one of the factors in sizing the effectiveness of an aircraft.Pilot’s skill is equally important.Just take a look at Israeli’s air superiority in the Six Day War as compared to Arab’s….they wiped out their air force with their Mirages which at that time is said to be inferior to the Arab’s MIGs.They also do untold damages to Egyptian’s air force by downing many of the MIG-21s in the War of Attrition between March 1969 and August1970.Perhaps the best known of all counters were the downing of 5 MIG-21s flown by Russian pilots!

  46. #46 by imranj78 on Thursday, 16 October 2008 - 10:35 pm

    I totally agree with your statement. Such ignorant posts such as some of those we see on this website is a result of people who know nothing about the topic they are talking about trying to act `smart’ and `ethical’ when in fact they are doing themselves a dis-service when they do not do sufficient research prior to writing their posts.

    Too bad that even PR and DAP is being ignorant and simplistic on this matter and choose to bark on the wrong tree… again and again!

  47. #47 by lchk on Thursday, 16 October 2008 - 10:41 pm

    imranj78 posted:

    “Such ignorant posts such as some of those we see on this website is a result of people who know nothing about the topic they are talking about trying to act `smart’ and `ethical’ when in fact they are doing themselves a dis-service when they do not do sufficient research prior to writing their posts.”

    And presumably you know a lot about it? LOL!

  48. #48 by HJ Angus on Thursday, 16 October 2008 - 10:44 pm

    You have to understand the Israeli concept of survival – they fought that war in order not to be wiped out!
    Also they have the brains to modify whatever equipment they have esp in avionics and weaponry.
    Israel in fact have built their own fighter jets.

  49. #49 by katdog on Friday, 17 October 2008 - 12:16 am

    To AhPek,
    I am sorry if i was misinformed. I was merely basing my comments on the information provided in this posting:

    “Canadian Kelowna Flightcraft Ltd. Model Kazan MI-172 buatan Russia
    – US$312 juta (RM1.061 billion)”

    It says quite clearly Mi-172, which is the civilian variant of the Mi-17. So now i do not know who is misinforming me. The government or the opposition.

    Btw, just to add, the the Eurocopter aircraft involved in the deal with India was the Squirrel AS 350B3 a light recon aircraft. Quite far away from the Eurocopter EC725 Combat SAR Cougar.

    I sense much misinformation here.

  50. #50 by katdog on Friday, 17 October 2008 - 12:27 am

    Some mistake here.
    The Eurocopter aircraft involved in the India deal was actually the AS 550 C3 Fennec, a light recon aircraft. But somehow, Eurocopter sent an AS 350 B3 for the military trials instead. And this was one of the reasons why the deal was cancelled.

  51. #51 by goldenscreen on Sunday, 19 October 2008 - 4:19 pm

    Dear Uncle Lim or the moderator,

    Please investigate the discrepancy between the acquisition price of Eurocopter EC-725 paid by Malaysia and Brazil. Brazil signed a contract to purchase 50 Cougar EC-725 for a price of US$1.2 billion in June 2008 while Malaysia paid a whooping RM2 billion for only 12 helicopters. This is the REAL SCANDAL.

    Do the maths and you will see that each Cougar EC-725 bought by Malaysia is overpriced by RM100 million compared to the price paid by Brazil. With 12 helicopters that equals to RM1.2 billion extra paid into the hands of third parties in the form of commissions and consultancy fees. Meanwhile Brazil gets added technology transfer to factories and additional jobs out of the deal. What else did Malaysia get except another scandal?

    Please press on this issue. If Najib and the Ministry of Defense has a credible explanation for the huge price difference, then let’s hear it.

    This is why the defense contractors backed Najib to the hilt in UMNO, he is their golden goose.

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