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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Secret documents sold to French company

Teoh El Sen | May 31, 2012
The evaluation documents by the Malaysian Navy on the Scorpene submarine was sold for RM142 million.
PETALING JAYA: A highly-confidential government document — an evaluation by the Malaysian Navy of the Scorpene-class submarine and contract details — was allegedly sold to a French defence company for 36 million euros (RM142 million), according to human rights NGO Suaram.
Lawyers acting for the Suaram in an ongoing French judicial inquiry said that the secret document was sold by Terasasi (Hong Kong) Ltd to French defence giant DCNS, ostensibly for “commercial engineering” works.
This was among the major aspects that the French investigative judge probing the case lodged by Suaram against Paris-owned shipmaker DCNS for alleged corruption are looking at.
According to French lawyer acting for Suaram, Joseph Breham, the French judge had inquired what those payments were and had demanded reports of financial transactions.
The lawyer had said it was even possible that Thales, a subsidiary of DCN, decided to pay the money to obtain the classified document so that it could better its bid for the project.
Directors of the Hong Kong-based Terasasi include Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s close ally Abdul Razak Baginda and the latter’s father Abdul Malim Baginda.
The secret document was allegedly sold to Thales International, also known as Thint Asia, which is a subsidiary of DCN (later known as DCNS).
DCNS is the company central in the legal suit filed by Suaram in 2009 in the French courts, which recently commenced a judicial inquiry at the Tribunal De Grande Instance in Paris.
The inquiry revolves around the RM7.3 billion deal to purchase two Scorpene submarines with DCNS and Spainish Navantia in 2002, when Najib was defence minister. Suaram’s complaint was based on the claim of corruption for a payment amounting to 114 million euros from DCNS to Perimekar.
Perimekar is also directly linked to Abdul Razak who was acquitted of abetting in the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu; while two of Najib’s former bodyguards were convicted for the murder.
Speaking to FMT from Bangkok, Suaram director Cynthia Gabriel said that the selling of the secret document for 36 million euro amounted to an act of treason, on top of it being most probably a corrupt act.
“This is downright illegal. Clearly an act of treason as it is a breach of defence secrets by selling state secrets. It is classified as a confidential document by Royal Malaysian Navy for the government, supposed to be in internal document that comes under the Official Secrets Act, and you sold it to a French company? You are not supposed to do this,” she said.

Devious act
Cynthia said this was “one of the big scandals” that had surfaced from the Suaram trial, and the information was among the hundreds of French’s prosecution investigative documents that Suaram currently has privileged access to.
“Indeed a very devious act. There is clearly a possibility of money laundering, or the money could be channeled to various beneficiaries including political organisations in Malaysia. This is corrupt and we think it is a sweetener to buy off some people,” she said.
“We now want to ask who benefited from this? When we went through the Paris papers. these was among the most startling issues. Before this we only know of Perimeker, now there is the emergence of the company Terasasi was actually key many answers, to showing how the money trail became more complicated, involving another Asian country, in the transfer of monies,” she said.
Cynthia said everybody is “shocked at the scale of the robbery” and “there is no longer space for silence”.
“It has become incumbent on the Malaysian government to give a proper explanation on the money that has been dished out. They cannot keep all these away from the public. We believe that there are many more skeletons in the closets and many more secrets that need to be unraveled .”
Cynthia was together with Breham, lawyer Fadiah Nadwa Fikri and R Sivarasa in Bangkok to reveal ‘damning details’ on the Scorpene case. A press conference at the Foreign Correspondence Club of Thailand was held yesterday.
The conference was held in Bangkok as Breham was unable to get a proper visa to enter Malaysia. Another French lawyer acting for Suaram, William Bourdon, was last year deported from Malaysia.

Saravanan dwarfs other MIC leaders

RJ Rajah | May 31, 2012
The party vice-president showed his political shrewdness by taking on the oppositition face to face on a sensitive matter.
Politics is the art of seizing an opportunity on the prevailing issues to outclass others in the same profession. Not many are good at it. Among the mundane political figures of MIC, one leader recently proved that he has the political shrewdness and ability to overshadow his fellow leaders in MIC and, at the same time, taking on the opposition face to face on a sensitive issue – the Effingham Tamil school land.
That leader is M Saravanan, MIC vice-president, and Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Deputy Minister. Key MIC leaders, including party president G Palanivel, avoided direct debate with the opposition leaders on the Effingham Tamil school land issue, which had been widely published.
The land issue was highlighted and persistently pursued by Subang MP R Sivarasa (PKR), who alleged that three acres of land originally allocated to the Effingham Tamil school by the developers had been “hijacked” or “stolen” by MIC for its own purposes during the time of former president S Samy Vellu. Sivarasa produced documents to back his claim and called on the party to return the land on moral grounds.
In retaliation, Palanivel announced that the land legally and rightfully belongs to MIC and that the party will build educational facilities on the land benefiting the Indian community, including a student hostel, similar to the old PPN hostel established by the NUPW (National Union of Plantation Workers), which was demolished several years ago to pave the way for a condominium development.
However, the opposition team under Sivarasa doggedly pursued the issue, asking MIC to return the land. Other key MIC leaders refrained from commenting except Saravanan.
Saravanan steps in…

Saravanan took the bull by the horn. He challenged Sivarasa to a public debate on the issue, saying that since the Selangor state government is controlled by Sivarasa’s own PKR party, it can always take back the land if it had been illegally transferred to MIC.
Saravanan also challenged Sivarasa to sue MIC and reclaim the land if there are improprieties in the transfer of the disputed land.
Sivarasa avoided the public debate but preferred a public discussion to exchange views and documents. He also agreed that the land was legally transferred to MIC but should be returned on moral grounds as it rightfully belonged to the Tamil school.
While the issue received wide publicity in the Tamil press, a group of supporters went on a hunger strike in Brickfields asking MIC to return the land.
In an unprecedented manner, Saravanan went to the scene of the hunger strike and held direct talks with Sivarasa and other opposition leaders present. Finally, as a result of the frank discussions, Sivarasa’s team agreed to drop the word “stolen by MIC” when referring to the land issue and promised that they will persuade the Selangor state government to allocate another piece of land to MIC in the event the party hand over the disputed land to the Tamil school.
On his part, Saravanan promised to bring the matter to the attention of Palanivel and the party’s central working committee (CWC) on the need of the Effingham Tamil school for extra land.
Surprisingly, during all these incidents there were no comments from Palanivel on whether he has authorised Saravanan to carry on these discussions or whether he has consented to the proposals purportedly agreed to by both camps.
Other leaders also refrained from supporting Saravanan, which indicates that what Saravanan did was on his own without the blessings of the top leadership.
Effingham issue: Is it over?

The Effingham issue is far from over. The MIC’s current leadership is in a dilemma. If the MIC hands over the land back to the Tamil school, it will only prove that it did something morally wrong and the blame would then fall squarely on Samy Vellu, who engineered the land transfer with the help of former Selangor executive council member K Sivalingam. It will also be seen as a victory for the opposition against MIC and would be used as a campaign fodder in the forthcoming general election.
MIC’s proposal to build educational facilities on the disputed land is a good idea, but still it will face the wrath of the opposition which will continue to harp on the issue and which will again be highlighted during the national polls.
Whether Saravanan’s actions would be condoned or condemned by the party will only be known when the party holds its next CWC meeting.
A formula that is feasible and pleasing to both camps would be to hand over the land to the Tamil school on a long lease of, say, 50 years, with MIC still retaining ownership of the land. The land could be leased to the Tamil school for a nominal fee of RM1 per annum to be used only for the school facilities.
It must be pointed out here that the land where Sri Thandayuthabani School is located in Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, belongs to the Nattukottai Chettiar’s trust, which also manages the adjoining temple, but it has given the land to the government on a long lease for a nominal fee of RM1 per annum.
A similar proposal for Effingham would solve the issue once and for all. MIC can consider it as it will benefit the Tamil school, an issue for which the party had been struggling all these years. MIC will also not lose its credibility since it would still be retaining ownership of the land.
There might not be a compromise or conclusion to the Effingham Tamil school land issue in the near future, but one man has seized a political opportunity and has shown that he has the political shrewdness to face the opposition to debate, discuss and solve the problem.
Saravanan may have other setbacks or controversial issues surrounding him, but in the Effingham Tamil school land issue, he has clearly outclassed the other MIC leaders with his performance.
RJ Rajah is an observer and writer on politics and social issues with a keen interest partiuclarly in Malaysian Indian affairs.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Press Statement : 21.5.2012

Prosecution of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, YB Azmin Ali and Badrul Hisham - a desperate, politically motivated act by BN

The Attorney-General acting on the behest of Barisan Nasional is at it again. Having failed to stop Anwar Ibrahim with trumped-up sodomy charges, they are now trying again.

This afternoon, Anwar Ibrahim ( the Leader of the Opposition) , Azmin Ali and Badrul Hisham received summonses to appear in the Jalan Duta Court tomorrow morning to be charged in relation to purported offences connected with the Bersih 3.0 rally on 28th April 2012.

One charge alleges a breach of the Court order dated 26.4.2012 issued by Magistrate Zaki Ashraf.  The charge Anwar and the other will face is allegedly causing a breach of the barricades to take place.  Parti Keadilan Rakyat views this charge as ludicrous and frivolous bearing in mind that the ample video evidence that he had directed the crowd to go down Jalan Tengku Abdul Rahman.  Furthermore, the legal validity of the Court order is itself suspect for non-compliance with the Peaceful Assembly Act itself.  It is also now clear that the police barricades themselves were not in compliance with the order.

The second charge is that of being present in a street protest contrary to the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012. This prosecution of Anwar and the others under this Act shows up the complete hypocrisy in Prime Minister Najib's so-called "political transformation" or "liberalisation" programme.  Pakatan's portentious warnings in Parliament in December 2011 that this Act was regressive compared to the older section 27 of the Police Act and would be abused are now vindicated.
 It is ironic that the first prosecution of the Peaceful Assembly Act is directed against Anwar Ibrahim, the Leader of the Opposition.  The political motivation of this new charge is clear. Having failed to stop Anwar with the trumped up sodomy charge, the Attorney General Gani Patail, at the behest of his political masters, is now trying again in desperation to stop Anwar's unrelenting march to Putrajaya.

PKR warns Prime Minister Najib that this prosecution makes again a mockery of his claim to making Malaysia the "best democracy in the world".  We will rally the people of Malaysia to oppose yet another blatant misuse and manipulation of our institutions.  

Sivarasa Rasiah
Majis Pimpinan Pusat Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Ahli Parlimen Subang

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Pendedahan yang dibuat oleh Setiausaha Agong KEADILAN, Dato’Saifuddin Nasution Ismail bahawa Pengerusi dan Timbalan Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya (SPR) adalah ahli Umno mempunyai kesan yang besar di sisi Perlembagaan Persekutuan.
Bukti yang dikemukakan oleh Dato’ Saifuddin Nasution Ismail mengenai keanggotaan Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof di bahagian Umno Ampang sehingga kini tidak disanggah. Timbalannya Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar pula mengaku secara terbuka beliau pernah menjadi ahli Umno. Sejak pendedahan dibuat dua minggu lalu, kedua-dua mereka tidak pernah menyatakan bahawa mereka telah membatalkan keanggotaan mereka.
Peruntukan Perlembagaan Persekutuan mengenai perlantikan dan keanggotaan SPR adalah jelas seperti termaktub di dalam Perkara 114, terutamanya Fasal 2 dan Fasal 4A seperti berikut:
(2) Pada melantik anggota Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya, Yang di-Pertuan Agong hendaklah mengambil perhatian tentang peri mustahaknya suatu Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya yang mendapat kepercayaan awam.
(4A) Sebagai tambahan kepada apa-apa kehilangan kelayakan yang diperuntukkan di bawah Fasal (4), pengerusi Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya hilang kelayakan untuk memegang jawatan itu jika selepas tiga bulan pelantikannya ke jawatan itu atau pada bila-bila masa selepas itu dia ialah atau menjadi anggota mana-mana lembaga pengarah atau lembaga pengurusan, atau pegawai atau pekerja, atau melibatkan diri dalam hal ehwal atau urusan, mana mana organisasi atau badan, sama ada diperbadankan atau selainnya, atau mana-mana pengusahaan komersil, perindustrian atau pengusahaan lain, sama ada atau tidak dia menerima apa-apa saraan, hadiah, untung atau faedah daripadanya.
Dengan syarat bahawa kehilangan kelayakan itu tidaklah terpakai jika organisasi atau badan itu menjalankan apa-apa kerja kebajikan atau sukarela atau tujuan yang berfaedah kepada masyarakat atau mana-mana bahagiannya, atau apa-apa kerja atau tujuan lain yang bersifat khairat atau sosial, dan anggota itu tidak menerima apa-apa saraan, hadiah, untung atau faedah daripadanya.
Keanggotaan kedua-dua pegawai tertinggi SPR ini di dalam sebuah parti politik secara jelas melanggar Perkara 114, Fasal 2 dan Fasal 4A. Apatah lagi apabila kedua-dua mereka mengaku menjadi ahli atau tidak menafikan mereka pernah menjadi ahli.
Tuntutan yang dikenakan oleh Perkara 114 adalah jelas; iaitu dalam masa tiga bulan dilantik ke jawatan Pengerusi atau Timbalan Pengerusi SPR, mereka perlu menarik diri dari semua badan yang termaktub di bawah Fasal 4A dengan membatalkan keahlian mereka. Sebagai pegawai tertinggi SPR, kecuaian mereka tidak menyemak dan membatalkan keahlian parti politik adalah satu kesalahan besar yang melanggar peruntukan Perlembagaan.
Oleh yang demikian, KEADILAN akan memulakan tindakan bersesuaian dengan Perlembagaan untuk memecat kedua-dua mereka dari SPR. Mengikut peruntukan Perlembagaan, sebuah tribunal perlu ditubuhkan untuk membicarakan kecuaian dan pelanggaran peruntukan Perlembagaan seperti yang didakwa seterusnya mengambil tindakan memecat kedua-duanya jika didapati bersalah.
KEADILAN akan menulis secara rasmi kepada Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak bagi menggesa penubuhan tribunal ini. Surat rasmi ini akan diserahkan secara tangan ke Pejabat Perdana Menteri Khamis 10 Mei 2012 ini.
Kebebasan pilihanraya umum akan datang bergantung kepada kredibiliti SPR. Maka, Dato’ Seri Najib sewajarnya tidak melengah-lengahkan penubuhan tribunal ini.
8 MEI 2012