Sunday, February 13, 2011

MACC targets Tony Pua for raising the alarm on RM6bil boats


MACC targets Tony Pua for raising the alarm on RM6bil boats
In what appears to be a sign of malice and intimidation, the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission has sent out feelers that it is considering pulling in DAP MP for PJ Utara Tony Pua because he had accused Prime Minister Najib Razak's federal government of proposing to buy 6 Littoral Combat ships at a cost far higher than existing market valuation.
National news agency Bernama reported an un-named MACC source as saying the commission was waiting for Tony to explain how he arrived at such a conclusion.
"We require clear and basic facts to investigate any allegation, including from Tony Pua," the MACC source told Bernama.

"The commission cannot carry out an investigation based on wild allegations," the source  added.
Bernama also reported that if Tony "did not come forward, the commission would get in touch with him to get 'valid facts' to start investigations".
Penalized for sounding the alarm
Tony had written in his blog that the RM6bil approved by the government to buy 6 vessels was 870 per cent more than what other countries paid for similar vessels.
But Navy chief Admiral Abdul Aziz Jaafar claimed that the ships to be built by Boustead Naval Shipyard in collaboration with six leading foreign shipyards would be far superior to the offshore patrol ships that RMN now used.
BN-friendly MP for Bayan Baru Zahrain Hashim also challenged Tony to lodge a complaint with the MACC instead of "making a lot of noise about it in an irresponsible way on the Internet".
However, Tony's Pakatan colleagues came to his defence. They condemned the BN government and the MACC for trying to silence him over a deal that reeked of massive corruption.
The boats were ordered without open tender and the huge cost has angered taxpayers, who are increasingly worried about the way Najib was splurging on big-ticket items while they suffered from round after round of subsidy cuts and price hikes.
"We are thoroughly disgusted by such behavior that I think only BN and Umno are capable of. Tony is an MP and it is his duty to raise a hue and cry when he sees what he believes are improper pricing at taxpayers' expense. To try and penalize him is spiteful and wrong, it will boomerang," PKR vice president Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.

Commission Awaits Report From Pua
PUTRAJAYA, Feb 11 (Bernama) -- The Anti-Corruption Commission is awaiting a report from opposition MP Tony Pua on his allegation that the Malaysian government is to buy six Littoral Combat Ships at a cost far higher than other countries had paid for similar vessels.

"We require clear and basic facts to investigate any allegation, including from Tony Pua," a commission source said, commenting on the claim the DAP MP made on his website that the RM6 billion approved by the government was 870 per cent more than other countries had paid for such ships.

The source said the commission would welcome Pua coming forward with facts supporting his allegation so that an investigation can be carried out.

"The commission cannot carry out an investigation based on wild allegations," he said, adding that probing without facts would be like "looking for a needle in a field of grass".

If the Petaling Jaya Utara MP did not come forward, the source said, the commission would try to get in touch with him to get "valid facts" to start investigations.

Earlier, Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim was reported to have challenged Pua to report to the commission all the facts he had on the purchase of the LCS instead of "making a lot of noise about it in an irresponsible way on the Internet".

Zahrain said that Pua, as a political leader, should be more responsible in making an allegation and base it on concrete facts.

Navy chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar said the LCS to be built by the Malaysian company Boustead Naval Shipyard in collaboration with six leading foregn shipyards would be far superior to the offshore patrol ships that RMN now used.

And the cost of the material for building the ships had risen, he said.

"The RM6 billion covers everything, including the cost of very sophisticated armament, high capacity sensory equipment and radar, and sonar that can detect enemy submarines," Abdul Aziz said.

"The country's defence industry is developing and depends a lot on foreign expertise. This is the main reason that the cost of a ship is so high," he added.

-- BERNAMA


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