Azmi’s unilateral rush as PAC Chairman to whitewash Eurocoper helicopter deal fiasco

Public Accounts Committee Chairman Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid has provided the most eloquent testimony why there is a Commonwealth parliamentary convention that a senior Opposition parliamentarian should be head of the PAC (and why a Minister who has just stepped down from the Cabinet should not head the PAC) if the parliamentary watchdog committee is not to be bullied or overawed by the Executive to rubber-stamp or whitewash controversial government decisions like the RM1.6 billion 12 Couger EC725 Eurocopter deal fiasco.

Yesterday, Azmi announced that the PAC had cleared the government of any procedural abuse in the RM1.604 billion Eurocopter helicopter deal and that the deal “was done in accordance with procedures”.

Is Azmi aware that his announcement clearing the government of any procedural abuse in the helicopter tender process has created consternation, disbelief and dismay among right-thinking Malaysians and undermined public confidence in the institution of Parliament for it runs counter to the clear and grave procedural abuse in the tender process requiring physical evaluation and in this case, test flights of the helicopters shorted-listed?

How can Azmi claim on the one hand that there is no procedural abuse in the tender process and yet in the next breath admit to the fact that there was the grave procedural abuse of no physical evaluation and test flight of the helicopters concerned?

As I pointed out in Parliament on Thursday during the winding-up of the Defence Ministry by the Deputy Defence Minister, Datuk Abu Seman Yusop, the helicopter tender documents specifically provided for “documentary evaluation” in Section 37 and “physical evaluation” in Section 38.

We have here another instance of the conflicting claims and justifications by top government leaders for the Eurocopter deal fiasco, not only in three different versions for its price, but also on its evaluation.

Abu Seman gave three ridiculous reasons in Parliament as to why there was no need to comply with the tender document requiring physical evaluation and test flight of the helicopters tendered, while Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister who was Defence Minister when the helicopter deal was clinched, claimed that “joyrides” of the Couger EC725 helicopter by RMAF pilots at the LIMA Airshow in Langkawi were adequate as physical evaluation and test-flights!

Why is Azmi swallowing “line, hook and sinker” the government excuses for a gross abuse of procedure in the Eurocopter helicopter deal instead of showing an independent and critical mind which are the prerequisites for a conscientious PAC Chairman?

Coming to the post of PAC Chairman with a “Ministerial mindset” is bad enough, Azmi should be conscious that he should not act or conduct himself in any manner as to create suspicion or doubt whether he is being influenced by thoughts of getting back to the Cabinet in the new Najib administration beginning in five months’ time!

Is Azmi able to explain why he is prepared to overlook the grave procedural abuse of not having any physical evaluation and test flight of the helicopters tendered by claiming that it was no procedural abuse?

What Azmi is guilty of is “an unilateral rush” as PAC Chairman to whitewash the grave procedural abuse of the helicopter tender process.

I have been referring to Azmi personally but not to the PAC because I have been informed that no vote had been taken of the PAC members for the PAC finding claimed by Azmi that there was no procedural abuse in the RM1.604 billion Eurocopter helicopter deal and that the deal “was done in accordance with procedures”.

In fact, this alleged finding of the PAC is clearly not the views of all the PAC members and it is most unfair and undemocratic for Azmi to claim that the PAC had reached any such finding when it is not the case.

Yesterday, I had suggested that the PAC should investigate the suggestion by a former Nuri pilot that a better proposition is for an upgrade of the RMAF Nuris, which will cost only a few hundred million ringgit, for two reasons:

· that 85 % of the RMAF Nuri crashes were due to human error, 10 % enemy aggression and another 5 % only maybe technical.

· the Nuris are still “good for another 20 years and more”, having “very low airframe hours, with an average of 9000 hours per aircraft” as compared to “worldwide standard for this type of helicopter currently is more than 50,000 hours and some even reaching 60,000 hours”.

I am shocked that my proposal had been summarily rejected by Azmi on the ground that a total of 95 persons had died in Nuri helicopter crashes since 1969.

I do not hold any watching brief for Sikorsky, the manufacturer of Nuri helicopters, and have no objection to the phasing out of the Nuris, if this is the considered opinion of any independent study of the matter as my top priority is the safety of the RMAF personnel using the helicopters.

What I cannot accept is that Azmi has taken upon himself to pass such a judgement, not as a result of an full inquiry by the PAC, but because of the advice he had received by some Defence Ministry official.

If the PAC Chairman is going to be a puppet of any top Ministry official, what is the use of having a PAC in the first place.

In his unilateral rush for PAC judgment to whitewash the Eurocopter deal, Azmi has failed to lead the PAC to probe into two important aspects:

1. The very grave issues about propriety, accountability and professionalism in the decision-making process, whether at the technical, off-set or price stages, especially when it is now established that the government had not conducted physical and specification inspections of the three short-listed aircrafts – the Cougar EC725, Sikorsky S92 and AgustaWestlands AW101.

2. Has the PAC secured firm undertaking from the Defence Ministry that when the government finally decides to purchase the helicopters, there would be a new open tender for the helicopters in view of the procedural abuses in the Eurocopter deal?

Finally, when is Azmi and the PAC going to submit its report on the Eurocopter inquiry to Parliament for debate. Can the report be tabled by before the end of this month?

Azmi must not forget that the PAC is only a committee of the Dewan Rakyat which has the final responsibility to endorse, revise or reject its report and recommendations.

  1. #1 by Godfather on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 11:56 am

    Like I said in previous postings, thieves can’t possibly reform themselves. We have to vote them out of power, and that’s the only lesson they will understand.

  2. #2 by Thinking Two on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 12:13 pm

    A thief is always a thief.

  3. #3 by Mr Smith on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 12:16 pm

    May I suggest all Pakatan members resign en bloc in view of its Chairman’s bias and unilateral declaration.
    How else are they to protest? It serves no purpose being in the PAC when there is such gross abuse.

  4. #4 by malaysia-united on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 12:21 pm

    1 lie must covered by 100 lies…
    Azmi: I help you, you help me mah! Sama-sama cari makan, hehehe…
    Najis: Kamceng la kita dua, hehehe…

  5. #5 by monsterball on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 12:26 pm

    What Azmi was saying…prices for Copters…correct.
    What he was saying….was..that not inspecting on such expensive products ….Najib….behaved ..irresponsible..
    Perhaps….this is the new art…how to agree and then disagree..for twisting and turning….covering up…obvious sleezy deals.
    What he purposely ignored….copters specifications…may correspond with the price….but how do one know…when delivery…it is the same specifications..without proper inspections?
    This is not a car….say that model….price agreed..OK.
    You see….no inspections…is the clear sign of crooks…when actual delivery done…not same model…no one can blame Najib…one inspected them.
    We have seen cars look alike…but prices are at least 10% cheaper…with less specifications…but cannot sen by on lookers.
    And we are talking about RM1.6 billion.
    You can smell……with no inspections.
    Azmi…is not a sincere auditor. Obviously…pro UMNO.
    He should be rewarded UMNO…..for such fine auditing.
    Yes..Azmi treats Malaysians as suckers.

  6. #6 by dawsonruby on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 12:28 pm

    Talk is easy, everyone can say just vote them out-lah in our next election. The question is how many are there in Malaysia that truly wants Revolution? There are still 60-70% uneducated malays that think Ketuanan Melayu is something non-bumis shouldn’t touch since that is the only way to represent their status and priviledges here.

    What UMNO have, PKR doesnt have it and that’s Unity. UMNO managed to unites all their members to agree with them on a same matter while can PKR do that? Can PAS, DAP really corporate with each other?

    Try to think in their shoes people before uttering out irresponsible words like just vote them out-lah or urge the rest of the malaysians to vote PKR because umno sux, the actual problem lies among in the malaysian malays, because they are not ready to compete with the non-bumis so who would be voting PKR when it doesnt benefits them at the end?

  7. #7 by frankyapp on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 12:37 pm

    First the eurocopter deal is wrong.Appointing Azmi as PAC chairman is wrong again .Umno is pretty smart cos to them two wrongs is equal to right.And as expected chairman Azmi just confirmed it.

  8. #8 by Daniel Quah on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 12:37 pm

    can Azmi elaborate what is the proceed of buying the copter? maybe at that time, we can find more corruption practice…

  9. #9 by helpless on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 12:37 pm

    Expected result. What else to expect? Only the Malay can help themselve as cried out by Datuk Zaid.

    Which mega project was reviewed with improvement recommendation? Answer is none.

    All perfect. 101% perfect job. Why? Simply because it is UMNO putra job. And as usual personal business interest.

  10. #10 by dawsonruby on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 12:41 pm

    PAC should explain why the deal was set off in 3 different prices quoted by respective party in the first place and show the public and world the transparency of the whole investigation and not simply answered by ONE PERSON!

  11. #11 by AhPek on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 1:47 pm

    A shameless effort at brushing aside public perception at yet another attempt to rob taxpayers.Chairman Azmi as far as your master is concerned it’s a good work on your part but haven’t you got the brains to tell you that your explanation has definitely caused a great deal of consternation to the public for you can never explain away as to why for the money you pay for one Eurocopter Brazil can get two!!

  12. #12 by mata_kucing on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 2:05 pm

    Isn’t the outcome a foregone conclusion? This has been the standard practice of the BN government. Everything is swept under the carpet. Honestly, I don’t know why the opposition is sitting in the PAC committee for. Don’t you know you’re being used to legitimise the whole process? Just like Suhakam. People just don’t give a damn any more on what they say because it’s just whitewash to cover their criminal acts. If anyone expects anything different, you must be dreaming.

  13. #13 by shortie kiasu on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 2:09 pm

    So where are we now?

    After the PAC had completed their investigation in a hurry and concluded that all is above board, what is next?

    How much credibility do we attach to such speed work of the PAC?

  14. #14 by safeworld on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 2:18 pm

    There is not a big deal by coverup the copter buying scandal, sooner or later everyone will know the actual truth.
    I am interesting to see why human being only focus on such selffish acts and neglect the beautiful things around us. We can only live for the most 100 years in our life but if compare to the earth or univeral that already more than millions and millions of years, ha, ha, what do you think we are stupid only argue on this small matter and forget about what the world will be in future???

  15. #15 by ch on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 2:20 pm

    Dear All,

    I strongly believe that the point raised by YB Kit Siang of having a senior opposition leader heading the PAC is valid and deserves further support and deliberations at the parliament for an immediate change of its current management. Transparency and accountability are the must have ingredients of good governance and PAC as the body of ensuring zero misappropriation of the ruling government should not be headed by a minister (in service or out of service) or a person with strong political ties with the government. The case of ensuring the Eurocopter episode be closed speedily and absolving the the government from any misgivings may give rise to many that PAC had a role to play of meeting the dateline before the former defence minister becoming the prime minister. It is rather mind boggling to note the efficiency and effectiveness of PAC to have the case wrapped up within two weeks. Unless of course PAC has been extended great cooperation,and free flow sharing of information with officials from the defence ministry on the case. Without which I believe gathering of information that may be critical to uncovering abuses would be an uphill task, particularly when comes to procurement involving billion of dollars.

    However, it is also worthy to take note the apparent silence of Tan Seng Qiaw who is also the second man heading PAC. He might his share of telling?

  16. #16 by jayenjr on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 2:45 pm

    YB – I see your argument. However, Tan Seng Giaw holds the Deputy Chair’s seat – yet I must say I am also surprised that he did not raise any objections to the findings chaired by Azmi. Surely he could have placed some form of ‘caveat’ on this apparent blank ok from the PAC.

    So, on the flip side of the coin, Tan’ “silence” in my opinion, is also very puzzling….

  17. #17 by lbl on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 2:54 pm

    I think it is a waste of public funds to have all these investigation committees when you cannot pick “unbiased” person to sit in the committee. I wonder how much it cost the government to pay for these people to sit in the committees, commissions etc.Ultimately, will action be taken against the culprits?
    What action was taken against those in the Lingam’s case?

  18. #18 by pangwl88 on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 4:38 pm

    what can we say.. ANOTHER IDIOT.

  19. #19 by Yee Siew Wah on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 6:03 pm

    This is one info from a friend. Hope Uncle Lim will do something:-

    “Subject: SCAM by KWSP

    speyers ion

    This is another method for KWSP to steal our money!

    Remember during Budget 2008 announcement last year, our Finance Minister (cum PM) announced that in order to assist KWSP members to reduce the burden in housing loan repayment, KWSP will allow monthly withdrawal from members’ A/C II for the purpose?

    Sounds like a nice idea!

    When you apply for the monthly withdrawal, you only need to provide KWSP your housing loan & instalment details from your bank and the bank a/c that you like KWSP to bank the monthly withdrawal into it. KWSP will approve your application based on the available amount in your A/C II and compute the withdrawal period by dividing the approved amount with the monthly instalment amount. Application process takes about a month and you will receive the monthly payout promptly into your bank a/c! Well everything appears to be nice and good. It was indeed a noble plan until you take to close look at your KWSP Statement!

    The withdrawal plan is actually a SCAM!

    This is how the KWSP SCAM works…….

    Assuming you have RM100,000 in your A/C II and your housing loan monthly instalment is RM2,000/mth. KWSP will approve your application of withdrawal from yr A/C II of RM100,000 and pay you RM2,000/mth for the next 50mths. Everything appears to be in order BUT…….

    What KWSP didn’t highlight to you is that when the application was approved, the TOTAL AMOUNT (RM100,000) is removed from your A/C II! It appears to be transfered to an unknown a/c to effect the monthly payment from there.

    The impact to the member are as follows :-
    1. You just lost RM100,000 from yr A/C II. Assuming the KWSP Dividend is 5%, you will lose >RM4,000 in dividend during the 1st year. Based on the above example you will will lose >RM10,000 over the 50 mths period!
    2. There is no statement to account for the amount approved vs amount paid, hence you would need to keep the monthly payment vouchers to reconcile against the approved amount over the 50mths period to ensure there is no missing amount!

    Assuming there are 100,000 members who innocently fell prey to this SCAM, based on the above example, KWSP would have cheated the members of 100,000 X RM10,000 = RM1,000,000,000 (that’s RM1 BILLION) over the period!

    Furthermore, if you discovered this SCAM early and intend to stop the plan, KWSP would not allow any cancellation of the plan until at least 1 year. That would mean, once the application is approved, based on the above example, you would have lost >RM4,000.
    100,000 members would have lost 100,000 X RM4,000 = RM400,000,000 (RM400 MILLION) in One Year!!!

    If you’re a victim of this KWSP SCAM, I would suggest you call your MP to raise hell in Parliament!

    For others who have not fallen into this SCAM, please continue to watch out and alert your family members & friends about this.


    Pls spread this message around.

    Best Regard,

  20. #20 by homeblogger on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 6:05 pm

    Come on… are we to believe that the right hand is going to chop off the left hand? I am starting to believe that our nation is on a death spiral. The corruption in this racist led government is so complex and deeply rooted that there is NO way anyone can be trusted.

  21. #21 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 6:51 pm

    How can Azmi bite the hand that feeds him?!!

  22. #22 by Damocles on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 9:32 pm

    Uncle Lim, PAC is just an instrument to white wash everything the BN government does.
    The same goes for the other so-called investigative bodies.
    They are headed by g-men, so what does anyone expect?
    That’s also why PAC is not headed by the opposition. They are stupid but not stupid enough to put their heads on the guillotine and let PR hold the rope that controls the blade!

  23. #23 by taxpayer on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 10:17 pm

    The arrogance of the PAC chairman who thinks that we are fools to be deceived by such stupid reports. This is the same attitude of the PM to be. God saves Malaysia.

  24. #24 by wtf2 on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 - 11:39 pm

    it’s easy – the BN is rotten to the core, to feed the flock they have many many kickbacks that’s why there was a Mr 10% last time. With the mongolian, eurocopter, valuecap and don’t forget the PKFZ – this practice seems to be widespread now – everyone wants a piece of the pie.

    The flock consists of the polis, the judiciary, the many bn morons and from the looks of it – the tentera air,sea,land. Yes the 30% wealth distribution will be exceeded. the bumis will progress financially, no they will not grow intellectually nor will they win any nobel prize. The nation is bleeding. Soon it will be sick very sick with the fall in morales, ethics and humanity all for the fictional notion of preferential treatment.

  25. #25 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 5 November 2008 - 3:56 am

    “If the PAC Chairman is going to be a puppet of any top Ministry official, what is the use of having a PAC in the first place.” Kit

    If he is going to be a puppet at least be a good one!

  26. #26 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 5 November 2008 - 7:33 am

    The PAC is supposed to scrutinise public spending to ensure accountability of public officials. However what happened in PAC – contrary to its purpose – is only to be expected. It is well and good to have democratic institutions and structures like PAC but it is trite that their existence per se no democracy makes.

    This is because what is more important to the feasibility of exercising of democratic rights is not the existence of democratic institutions, procedures, and structures like the PAC per se but the mores, cultural values, attitudes, behavioural pattern of larger citizenry.

    If these remain feudal and primordial, the purposes of democratic institutions, procedures, and structures will be circumvented and defeated, and they remain but only showcases to give democratic gloss and veneer over that which is the exact opposite.

    It is people and their attitudes that ultimately set democratic or the feudal standards, as the case may be : not the institutions, procedures, and structures, put in place for show casing.

    As to why it is the case is obvious : it is people as voters who vote and keep voting their representatives to Parliament from the ranks of whom are elected party delegates who in turn vote their officials taking over top government positions by virtue of their apex party positions.

    If the mores, cultural values, attitudes, behavioural pattern running through this whole inter locking chain of political support were feudal and tribal, with all importance attached to exclusivity of race and religion and blind obedience to leaders and tolerance of their excesses in exchange for their patronage and benefits of protection, how could the mere existence of democratic institutions, procedures, and structures bring about greater democratic freedoms and acountability???

    To be sure, education does help but it must be the right and proper kind : not the kind that revises expectations in downwards spiral from Top 200 World Universities by Higher Education Supplement’s standards to top 500 World Universities and maybe a few years down the road content to be the top 1000 World Universities in deference to the feudal and tribal values and parochial attitudes nurtured since 600 years, shunning merits and universality.

    The country has, since Merdeka, only 50 years of history to practise a Constitution bequeathed by colonial masters : can attitudes and behaviour evolved from 600 years of history be changed by the Constitution’s 50 years? Can the flower of democracy bloom in a soil with nutrients sufficient for last 60 years to sustain only wild ferns, lallang and weeds???

    Yes to some extent – especially with ocasional flower like RPK and the arduous efforts of a ‘gardener’ like YB LKS in educating Malaysians on constitutional procedures – but no, in other respects, where we witness the Constitution being amended time and again in last 20 to 30 years in alteration of its spirit and letter to bring it in line more with these feudal and tribal attitudes instead.

    It is perhaps natural, if not probable, that attitudes nurtured in last 600 years will still triumph over new attitudes forged since only 50 years ago!

    Whilst we can celebrate today walking out of the Dark Medieval Ages by the legacy of a constitution that the British bequeathed to us in the rubbles of World War II half a century ago, we have yet to celebrate the dream of equal opportunity, Sanctity of Rule of Law and Democratic Freedom that that constitution promises us. It will take citizens of tomorrow’s nation, to whom the reins of power will be passed maybe 100 or 200 years from now, to (hopefully) realise the pledges of democratic equality and freedom made in the Constitution that the present and last generations have failed dismally to do….

  27. #27 by taiking on Wednesday, 5 November 2008 - 8:26 am

    Wot? Investigation into a billion ringgit deal completed is such short time? Wow the japanese who invented instant noodle has something to learn from us.

  28. #28 by PSM on Wednesday, 5 November 2008 - 9:28 am

    Bro Kit,

    There has been one scandal after another with the BN (read: UMNO) & Najib over the years & as far as we can see, it will not end as long as UMNO is in power.

    I agree with Dawsonruby, despite being corrupted to the core, UMNO still has strong support & the “Ketuanan Issue” is alive & well (the Nazis & White Racists in the South African Apartheid Regime can’t come close to UMNO when it comes to holding on to power!).

  29. #29 by dawsonruby on Wednesday, 5 November 2008 - 12:39 pm

    Stop hoping for a change, it’s either you vote them out in the next general election or save enough and move out from this disgusting country. If the oppositions fail to grab most votes in the next GE, malaysia will be pretty hopeless and filled with darkness for another 8-10 years. So save your money now so you could move out from this racist country for good.

  30. #30 by wifeejane on Wednesday, 5 November 2008 - 5:13 pm

    Saudara Lim…..these are Lies, lies, pack of lies and cover up, Beutifully done, skillfully design, prices keep tumbling down…tumbling down… and tumbling down till quite near to Brazil figure (2.3b down to 1.6b) fantastic and excellantly executed What is upmost important is please expose as many as possible these type of the UMNO wrongdoing. 95% of my Malay friends have already told me they have loss fate in this goverment. Try using SMS to to send all this hot issues to those Malay rakyat. The Chinese and Indian is not sufficient to vote them down but the power of the modern educated Malays hold sway the the change of goverment.

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