Now that I have your attention on the Scorpene issue that U-Turn Mahathir has conveniently forgotten (like the PKFZ issue and others), let me take you down memory lane to tell you more about the whole issue. There will be a few corrections pertaining to the timeline as per the previous posting.
Everyone who talks about the Scorpene deal talks about Abdul Razak Baginda and a company called Perimekar Sdn Bhd that supposedly had gotten millions of Ringgits in kickbacks pertaining to the submarine deal.
The original proponents of the Malaysian submarine program were Mokhzani Mahathir and Ibrahim Mohd Noor (who was then then CEO of newly-listed BERNAS, acting on behalf of Daim Zainuddin). They proposed the German Type 212 (an Air-Independent Propulsion version of the Type 209 design) through a company called…wait for it…Perimekar Sdn Bhd, then operating drom a bungalow in Jalan Lembah Ledang off Jalan Semantan in Kuala Lumpur.
However, in 1999 the then-Chief of the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN), Admiral Tan Sri Abu Bakar Jamal convinced the then Prime Minister (guess who) at the Avillion Layang-Layang Resort for a submarine program purchasing a very capable submarine.
The Prime Minister bought the idea when Admiral Abu Bakar said, to the effect of, “Imagine we (the RMN) could operate in stealth as far as the Sea of Japan and the North Indian Ocean, without anyone finding out.” The green light was given then.
Sometime in September 2001, the ownership of Perimekar Sdn Bhd was transferred to the Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) through Boustead Bhd’s special purpose vehicle called Ombak Laut Sdn Bhd. The Board of Directors of Perimekar Sdn Bhd then were Rear Admiral (Rtd) Hussin Tamby and Mazlina Makhzan, Abdul Razak Baginda’s wife.
The company, together with officials from the RMN sifted through more than 17,000 pages (28 volumes) of technical documents of the Scorpene. After this point, as mentioned in my previous posting, the Secretary-General of Treasury took over the final commercial negotiations. MINDEF, Perimekar et al no longer had any role to play.
The deal to purchase two Scorpene-type submarines from DCNS and Thales was inked in June 2002, when the then-Prime Minister was also the Finance Ministry who would have given the final approval for the procurement. It was signed by all the relevant parties at the Ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur.
The Ministry of Finance was represented by the Secretary-General of Treasury Tan Sri Samsuddin Hitam while LTAT was represented by Dato’ Lodin Wok Kamaruddin.
The consideration for the deal was partly in kind – export of palm oil to France. The final consideration of the deal came from a condition laid by the Ministry of Transport which the French agreed to the day before the deal was inked – for Malaysia Airlines to get the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th landing rights at the Charles de Gaulle (CDG) in Paris.
So, now you know the story behind the Scorpene. Now you know why it is impossible for anyone involved to forget the deal that was made 15 years ago.
Anyone who does forget should not be in politics as it could be a sign of a deterioration of the brain function. And these persons should remember Allah before he finally forgets Who Allah Is.