Archive for October 30th, 2008

Eurocopter deal – shameful episode in Parliament

Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusof was literally grilled in Parliament for over two hours over the billion-ringgit 12 Cougar EC725 Europter helicopters deal as he was totally at sea and unable to answer the most elementary of questions, such as

(i) Why three sets of different figures for the 12 Cougar helicopter deal – RM1.1 billion given by Defence Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Abu Bakar Abdullah; RM1.67 billion given by the Prime Minister-cum-Defence Minister; and RM1.604 billion stated by Abu Seman Yusof in Parliament today;

(ii) Why no physical evaluation or test flights for the short-listed helicopters; or as I said in Parlaiment, getting Malaysia into the Guinness Book of Records as probably the only government in the world to order sophisticated and expensive aircrafts without any test flight although such physical evaluation for the short-listed tenderers was one of the conditions specified in the tender docunment.

Abu Seman was dumbstruck when asked both questions and was unable to give any sensible reply. It was a most shameful episode in Parliament.

It has to be left to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister to try to immediately repair the damage created by the deputy Defence Minister by answering these two questions outside Parliament, as in the following report Read the rest of this entry »


Syed Hamid Albar vs. Hindraf on Indian marginalization

by H Lee

So Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar – in a decision, as he puts it, of self-sacrifice for the sake of protecting society – has banned Hindraf.

Similar home ministerial valour must have been present when he chose to detain Raja Petra, Teresa Kok, Tan Hoon Cheng and hundreds of others under the ISA.

Many Malaysians have expressed their outrage at the latest cruel and callous act of repression against a civil group which has highlighted the continuing plight of marginalised Malaysian Indians.

I would like to examine an aspect: the assertion that Malaysian Indians are not marginalised and are actually doing better than Bumiputera Malaysians, and thus, they have no grounds to feel
aggrieved, let alone angry. This is a cynical and specious claim.

We should first take note of the often ignored fact that the Malaysian Indian community is diverse, stratified and complex. Like any other. Read the rest of this entry »


Procurement of 21 police helicopters shelved

After the shelving of the RM1.67 billion 12 Cougar EC725 Eurocopter deal of the Royal Malaysian Air Force, the next project being deferred is the purchase of 21 police helicopters for the Royal Malaysian Police.

This was revealed by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Amirsham Aziz just before Parliament ended at 10 pm last night, after I had asked him during his winding-up speech on the 2009 budget what are the other projects which are being shelved because of the global financial crisis to enable the government to reallocate public expenditures.

The police request for 21 new helicopters was revealed by the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan in August, as reported in the following report of Utusan Malaysia on 13th August 2008:

21 helikopter awasi perairan

LABUAN 12 Ogos – Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) akan menambah 21 buah helikopter bagi meningkatkan kecekapan operasinya terutama di dalam mengawasi perairan negara, kata Ketua Polis Negara, Tan Sri Musa Hassan.

Menurut Musa, cadangan untuk membeli helikopter itu telah diluluskan oleh Kabinet baru-baru ini dan kerajaan akan memutuskan pembelian aset tersebut kemudian. Read the rest of this entry »