Death, Tragedy, Profits and Corruption

By Hussein Hamid

ON July 13th 2007 an RMAF Nuri helicopter crashed into a deep ravine in the dense forest 5km to the west of the Genting Sempah Tunnel. Six Air Force crewmembers were killed in that crash. I remember images of the ambulance lined up on the grounds of the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital as the first of the helicopters carrying the bodies of these Crew Members came into sight. Silent crowd watch with all eyes on the families of those waiting for the arrival of their love one now dead. As you hear the instantly recognizable sound of the helicopter when it came to land you can feel the sorrow touching everyone there. There was not much to say as they carried the first body of the aircrew from the helicopter to the waiting ambulance. I remember too that there was no anger in me that day. Only sadness.

Today when I think about that moment and knowing what I know now – that just on that Razak Baginda case Ringgit $500 million was paid out as commission on the purchase of the three submarines – I asked myself if those six aircrews should have died? I remember Najib hastily announcing Cabinet’s decision to phase out the Nuri. Again the Government reacting after the fact. The billions of Ringgit spent on Mindef tenders were really simply an excuse for cronies of politicians to make hideous amounts of money for themselves and their UMNO political masters. If there had been accountability for every Ringgit spent on Mindef – would there not be enough money to prevent that Nuri crash from happening? Better maintenance, better trained Air Force crew maybe even enough money to start the phasing out of the Nuri long before their continued use could ever present a hazard to our RMAF air force crew?

The three submarines bought are a disaster waiting to happen. I do not know much about submarines but this I know. RM$500million have already been spent on commission – okay if Najib wants to be technical on ‘services rendered’. Many more millions are going to be milked from this submarine project. Many more millions for many more friends and many more UMNO politicians. At what cost? For the country and us it is our tax money. To the Navy? Cutting of corners to squeeze out every single cent that they can would compromise safety issues and the readiness of our Navy to meet challenges that will surely come as they put these submarines into service. How long before a disaster happens because of these ‘cutting of corners’? Like the Nuri carsh – one death is one death too many for the Malays and for the country. But of what concern is this for those who have already profited from this project?

Compared to the Police the Army is relatively corruption free if we talk about the number of Mindef people involved in the actual taking of money. For PDRM corruption is on a massive scale because it is the rank and file in their thousands spread out all across the nation who extort money from the public. But the level of corruption within Mindef is on a class of its own. Because the opportunity to make money in Mindef lies with the tenders and contracts it awards out. And it is no Chicken feed. I am still waiting for something that will give the Razak Baginda’s commission a run for its money. It is there somewhere in Mindef – but it has not come out yet. It is ironic that while there is more money to be made in Mindef – the recipient of this largeness are usually outsiders – the cronies of politicians and their conspirators with a few Generals thrown in.

The corruption market is very much the same as the share market – it is build on the back of supply and demand and influenced by external factors like the PDRM, MACC, UMNO and what the sitting Prime Minister would or would not allow to happen. In all seriousness they all take money because they really think that they will not be caught. Let us not go into the right and wrongs of doing it because it is a no brainier.

“Political corruption, the dysfunction of a political system or institution in which government officials, political officials or employees seek illegitimate personal gain through actions such as bribery,extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft, and embezzlement”. Wilkipedia.

The Rank and File in PDRM will not be involved in corruption if they think that there are going to be caught. The Politicians are involved in corruption because they think that they are the ‘powers that be’ to decide if they can or cannot steal money from the country’s coffers. And in Malaysia they are the ones who decides – that is until now. Hopefully Pakatan Rakyat will make a difference to this practice soon.

What makes corruption stand out in Malaysia is the breathtaking audacity of some of these thieves. The amount of money they take is mind boggling as to beg the question – is the cabinet also instructed to close one eye? Aisehman if cabinet can do it then that Barisan MP from Jasin was within his power to ask the Malacca Custom and Excise office to close ‘one eye’ in a case involving the import of sawn timber which had breached the regulation! Now I understand his anger when the custom were not compliant to his request.

This massive wave of corruption that has robbed the country blind must be stopped. The change cannot come from within the Government or Barisan–they are part of the problem, not the solution–it must come from without. Our country has emerged from the dark days of repression and nepotism of Mahathir only to find yourself going helter skelter into a world of madness of Najib. He thinks that if he ignores the elephant of corruption and excesses that are inside his living room it will eventually go away. The collapse of the ‘Bersih, Amanah dan Cekap’ from Tun Hanif’s day to the current “Tak Nak” to Rasuah says it all.

If we cannot trust our Prime Minister to do the right thing – who then? They wanted to create a core of Malay businessman/millionaires that would act as a catalyst to the growth of other Malay businessman. The problem is that these core of Malay (read UMNO) millionaires have built their business and money on filth and rotting waste that will devour them as UMNO ceases to be able to keep feeding them as the people says ENOUGH!!

This story is not complete without a flashback to Mahathir’s time – just in case he starts his “ Not during my time” shindig. I want to take you back to the days when Suria KLCC was the Selangor Turf Club. My memory is not that good now days so if these figures that I am quoting is a bit out do correct me.

Selangor Turf Club with 40ha of land was instructed to move out of the city supposedly to ease traffic congestions in the area on weekends when the races took place. At that point of time the land was zone Agricultural.

Ananda purchased the land from DBKL on the advice of a dear and personal friend who shall remain nameless. No I am not going to say whether it was Mahathir or the son of Mohamad – I said that he would remain nameless!! I believe Ananda paid about RM300 million for that piece of agricultural land – ajaib tapi benar!

The land was then converted for commercial use. Petronas was instructed to buy the land from Ananda ‘at market value’. Again the advisor (ahem ahem!!) who advised Petronas to purchase the land and build the HQ there shall also remain nameless. Land was valued at
around RM 1b.

Ananda kept 30% of the land and pocketed RM700 million and still had 30% of the whole deal. Good business deal for Ananda. Bad fo Petronas. Bad for Rakyat. Why not instruct Petronas to buy the land direct from DBKL and cut out Ananda? You tell me.

Now in defense of Pak Lah he did not condone corruption. He just did not want to know about it. I rest my case

  1. #1 by k1980 on Monday, 17 August 2009 - 10:01 am

    Why should the Ministry of Defence be paying RM500 million commission to Bugs Razk Bunny to buy subs?

    The subs manufacturer DCN of France should be jumping with joy at the purchase and instead be offering millions of ringgit in discount to the Ministry of Defence to head off other competitors.

  2. #2 by Leong Yook Kong on Monday, 17 August 2009 - 11:48 am

    Khairul had demonstrated on 14 August 2009 on how TBH jumped from the window sill. I did not see the demonstration done by Khairul, was Khairul in the standing position or squating position?

    1. If he was in the standing position, then something is not correct. Assuming that the height of TBH is 1630mm (5 feet 4 inches) and the height of vent is 1500mm (4 feet 11 inches), TBH’s head was higher than the top transom of the window frame opening by 130mm (5 inches) when in the standing position.

    2. If the vent height is 1800mm (5 feet 11 inches), there was a head clearance of 170mm (6 and three quarter inches) between the top of head and the top transom of the window frame when in the standing position. We must remember that the window is a top hung window construction (open at a slanting angle) and therefore at the apex the clearance is limited. When the window is opened at an angle of 45 degree, the clearance just above 1630mm is only app. 200mm (roughly about 8 inches) between the window panel and the curtain wall. How to jump in the standing position due to the limited clearance?

    3. I leave it to you to imagine how a person jumps in a squatting position?

    4. Assuming that the window dimension is:-
    (a) 750x1500mm high with 6mm thick glazing, the weight of the window is app. 21kg and with 10mm thick glazing, the weight is app. 32 kg.
    (b) 750x1800mm high with 6mm thick glazing, the weight of the window is app. 40kg and with 10mm thick glazing, the weight is app. 61kg.

    5. For such a large top hung window the restrictor stay (2 bar hinge) can be used as extra support by fitting it below the existing friction stay (4 bar hinge). This has the effect of limiting the opening as well as adding greater stability to the window panel. Was there a restrictor stay in place? Check for screw holes to the vertical members of the outer and inner frame for the answer.

  3. #3 by hadi on Monday, 17 August 2009 - 12:24 pm

    Ikan itu busuk bermula dari kepala. So does the Malaysian government institutions. Sometimes we wonder whether the country has the right guy to guide the nation to a better future.
    Taking for example the Nuri crashes, do we get to know the real causes or the root cause of what had happened apart from the usual cry and well known excuses that it is for security reasons therefore it has to be kept secret. What a bullshit!!! and the best way out is to manipulate the issue with a proposal to buy something new and ensure someone to make money. Macam biasa la with all the conspirators with some generals and officers putting their stake as to enrich themselves and some for retirement plan.
    So what happen to the Eurocopter deal that had been swept under the carpet YB? No actions as though nothing had happened.
    Lot of rubbish and plenty of cow dungs and as far as I know as long as this country is run by mediocre and with some lazy brains running some organizations, Malaysians should all rest our case. By the next GE, if there is no change in government in Malaysia, then say good bye and good luck and we will be lucky if the nation remain intact as the future is… be my guests!!! YB.

  4. #4 by ekompute on Monday, 17 August 2009 - 12:27 pm

    “Ringgit $500 million was paid out as commission on the purchase of the three submarines”

    Hahaha… the way public money is spent is as if ringgits are rupiahs. Guess they are so used to talking about millions as if RM500 million is like RM500. And they say what? They are fighting for the Malays? Looks more like they are fighting for themselves. When I visit, I realize that many Malays have still not awakened. See a typical example of those comments:

    ” Thank you for yet another insight into Anwar Ibrahim, Sir. Evidence and facts continue to show the true face of the Prime Minister wannabe but I’m perplexed as to why some Malaysians are so gullible? What else could we do to ‘open the eyes’ of the people, PARTICULARLY the MALAYS?”

    What a joke. This guy is obviously sleeping and he thought others are sleeping. Mahathir knows the truth but he likes to bathe himself with lies. If you tell Mahathir the truth… , that he is very corrupted, he will jump, never mind the fact he has created a billionaire family through 22 years of pubic service. How much is the salary of a Malaysian Prime Minister? Well, I suppose it is not the salary, it’s the jalan that comes with power. Maybe in Malaysia, jalan is legal… in that case, I would need to retract my statement about Mahathir.

  5. #5 by ekompute on Monday, 17 August 2009 - 12:31 pm

    k1980 :
    Why should the Ministry of Defence be paying RM500 million commission to Bugs Razk Bunny to buy subs?
    The subs manufacturer DCN of France should be jumping with joy at the purchase and instead be offering millions of ringgit in discount to the Ministry of Defence to head off other competitors.

    Aiyaaaa k1980, don’t be caught with this either or logic. Who say discount don’t have? Discount got, commission also got laaaaa….

    Lucky don’t have to carry the money like in olden days, otherwise 2 military trucks also not enough to transport the loot, LOL.

  6. #6 by DAP man on Monday, 17 August 2009 - 12:48 pm

    They commit all sorts of crime. Why? 1. They won’t be caught? 2. They can quickly go or a pilgrimage and come back clean to commit the next crime.

    See, there are saved from this and the next world.

  7. #7 by taiking on Monday, 17 August 2009 - 1:03 pm

    Lets not forget. The company through which razak provided the services could well be operating with norminal overheads – not very different from the office of the “A.P.” king (the specialist in the sale of Approved Permits). In other words, almost every cent of the 500m (less taxes) would go into his pocket (or that of his master, as the case may be).

    But ask a property developer or a manufacturer or a banker how much effort, labour and sweat are required of them in order to gain 500m ringgit in gross profit? Lets look at the developer of medium costs apartments – selling apartments for about RM175,000-RM200,000. Assuming that he could gross RM100,000/unit he would probably have to build something like 5000-6000 units (over 25yrs @ 200units/yr) in order to hit 500m (in today’s money). Even a high performing lawyer who could earn say two million a year would need 250yrs to make 500m. So who is baginda razak and what business has he to command a 500m commission? And why are they known as commissions? That is umno’s way of dressing illegal transactions with legality so that if need be the aggrieved party could take the matter to court. Would the court sanction such transactions? Properly, no but this is malaysia and the cj is an umno man.

    Corruption is sinful and corruption at that sort of scale can only come from devils. The 12.5billion pkfz scandal to them was not important enough to be debated in parliament. And what have they got to say? Blame non-umnoputras who are non-malays for taking away a large slice of the country’s economic pie.

  8. #8 by SpeakUp on Monday, 17 August 2009 - 1:08 pm

    HH’s article referring to the Nuri is very mistaken. The Nuri is a good work horse and the crash is not related to the machinery. If they were bad would our Ministers travel in them?

    If you all know people in the air force it will be clear that many crashes with Nuri’s are because of pilot error. Yes sir, some of our helo pilots are stupid. So its easier to blame the old helos … just change it and make more money in the process.

    In East Malaysia 2 helos crashed many years ago because they were playing ‘TAG’. Masuk bukit la …

    The Genting one was clear, they should not have proceeded as conditions were bad, I was coming down Genting that day just after it happened and it was lousy weather.

    They could have landed in Genting itself but the pilot took a risk and it ended in a disaster.

    Corruption is a way of life in Malaysia, we all do it, will we stop it? That is the main issue.

  9. #9 by frankyapp on Monday, 17 August 2009 - 1:11 pm

    Wow.Hussein Hamid,you are a great PI,you have your work done pretty good.Good job.The ball is now back to Umno/BN top leaders especially the pm and dpm. I hope these charges or comments would wake up the pretty tough ex-pm tdm too.If you put all these cheating and swindling of the country wealth ,the amount would easily be around trillion ringgit.And should all these siphoned off money be spent properly for the welfare of the people,I think most if not all kampong folks should be living in mordern homes,with atleast a car per family,complete with paved roads,good bridges,full electricity and pipe water supplies uninterrupted.Further all eligible good students would have his or her scholarships without a fuss.The funny thing in our country is ,all those who are responsible to all these corruptions and scandals are awarded with all kind of titles as hero of the country instead of being revealed,charged and sentenced to jail.I think this only happen in malaysia as we are in a land aka bolehland.

  10. #10 by ablastine on Tuesday, 18 August 2009 - 9:58 am

    Indeed trillions of dollars have already being sucked out from the Malaysian people by all these greedy … Why do you think
    the ringgit is now 2.42 against the Sing. The thing that worries me most is can the situation change even if Pakatan takes over. The
    answer is Pakatan can never take over! This is because all righteous and able people that are not on the take are already long gone
    from the corridors of power. What is left holding the reign and key to the Malaysian safe are the worst, the most corrupted and the
    dirtiest. They is no way they are going to allow Pakatan to take over to displace them from their position of advantage. They will
    rather we become another Burma than to relinquish their position after political defeat. Malaysia is Doomed.

  11. #11 by Mist on Friday, 21 August 2009 - 12:00 pm

    What you have described regarding Ananda and the “un-named” politician/crook is your classic “corruption mill”.

    Your characterisation of corruption following the “supply and demand” model is quite spot on. In order for the “corruption mill” to be fed reasons are often needed. This meant a false demand has to be created and the “corruption mill” will then have feedstock for processing. Ever wonder why there are so many white and abandoned elephants in malaysia ?

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