The Prime Minister and His Deputy must be made to face a Royal Commission of Inquiry

Eurocopter scandal: No inspection done on choppers

Syed Jaymal Zahiid | October 30, 2008

Defence Deputy Minister Abu Seman Yusop received a beating from Pakatan Rakyat MPs today when he openly admitted that the multi-billion ringgit military helicopters did not undergo any physical inspection.


abu seman yusopAbu Seman, in his Budget 2009 winding-up speech, said the ministry’s technical committee had decided to buy 12 units of the Eurocopter Cougar EC 725 helicopters based on documents alone.

He also took pains to explain that the purchase of the helicopters had cost the government RM1.6 billion, instead of the RM1.1 billion figure given by the ministry’s secretary-general Abu Bakar Abdullah in a press statement last week.

His revelation sparked an uproar in the House and prompted several Pakatan Rakyat MPs, led by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, to grill him.

“How is it that a government procurement as big as this did not undergo any physical inspection? I have eight years of experience as finance minister and we have never make procurements without first inspecting (the items),” thundered Anwar.

M Manogaran (DAP-Teluk Intan) took a swipe at the deputy minister, saying that “even when you purchase something as small as a Perodua Kancil, you would want to inspect it first, what more when it is helicopters worth RM1.6 billion.”

Anwar said various aspects have to be taken into consideration like the safety of the pilots should there be any defects in the helicopters and it was absurd of the government not to make such deliberations when procuring the helicopters.

He demanded answers as to why conflicting figures have been cited on the cost of the helicopters.

Abu Seman then replied that it was a mistake on his part as he had overlooked the fact that the services charge and ‘offset package’ like supplementary military hardware had added RM500 million to the original RM1.1 billion to make it RM1.6 billion.

Set up Royal Commission

At a press conference later, Anwar said he could not accept the reasons given by Abu Seman although he believes that the deputy minister was only “reading the text provided to him by his superior” and was not involved in the matter.

anwar ibrahim parliament pc on budget and najib 131008 04“This is a shocking revelation by the deputy minister. A procurement this big without a physical inspection being done is swindling the people’s money par excellence.

“How can you allocate RM1.6 billion for something that you have never even seen or (when you don’t) know if it works or not.”

He said he could “vouch on behalf of the Malaysian army that they would definitely want to inspect the helicopters before purchasing it.”

Asked what he thought of all this, Anwar reiterated his demand for the government to set up a royal commission to probe the matter.

Earlier today, a decision on Anwar’s emergency motion to set up a royal commission to probe not just into the Eurocopter scandal but two other ‘mega-projects’ was deferred to Monday by the speaker.

A RM11.31 billion high-speed broadband project and the RM4.26 billion purchase of the Bank Internasional Indonesia by Maybank were the other projects Anwar had wanted to government to probe.

48 thoughts on “The Prime Minister and His Deputy must be made to face a Royal Commission of Inquiry

  1. Shame on this government and when are Malaysians going to wake up from their indifference?

    Both Badawi and Najib must be asked to appear before an independent Royal Commission of Inquiry. There should be no compromise when it comes to mismanagement of public funds. So far both of them have gotten away quite lightly by asking the Deputy Minister of Defence and the Secretary General, Ministry of Defence to answer queries from Pakatan Rakyat Parliamentarians led by Anwar Ibrahim on their behalf.

    Also Shame on the Barisan Nasional backbenchers headed by the MP Tiong from Bintulu and the MP for Kinabatangan, Bung Mokhtar, who are not bothered with this and other scandals. In other countries like India or the United Kingdom, scandals of this sort can cause the government to collapse, but not in Malaysia. Here the government stays no matter what.

    I am at a loss for words. It is no wonder there is a crisis of confidence by local and foreign investors. We can no longer trust the UMNO-led Barisan Nasional Government. But I hope the Speaker, Dewan Rakyat, will call for a debate on this matter, the rm11.31billion broadbrand project and Maybank’s rm4.26 billion purchase of Bank Internasional Indonesia next week. Will he? That is question.—Din Merican

  2. “In other countries like India or the United Kingdom, scandals of this sort can cause the government to collapse, but not in Malaysia. Here the government stays no matter what.” Din Merican

    It is obvious that in Malaysia there is a serious disconnect between the leaders and those they lead, between the government and the governed.

    It is time we take the bull by the horns and do what has to be done – to restore public confidence in the government. Change has its cost and fear is being instilled among the Malays as to what could happen under Pakatan rule.

    Anwar’s dilemma is to figure out a way of how to take away the candy from a boy without making him cry. Can that be done??

  3. Din, this is only the top of the iceberg. To expect the Goment to suddenly come clean, is enough to raise a red flag. Most of us can smell a rat except those whom themselves are living together behind darkness and power.Thanks DSAI and YB Kit who relentlessly pursue on these Mega Mega cases.

    Abu Seman Oh semens. Any injudicious Minister who overlook Rm500mil is no small mistake. As though he doesn’t know the difference between Rm1.1 and Rm1.6bil, he choose to report to the media as Rm1.1bil. C’mon ppl, can you hear the snake hisssst? Hopefully to con the rakyat. If Goment can get away 500mil, just on going thru paper work, can you imagine how much more, if they just open their mouth. Not to even mention if they use their brain, if any left.

    No test drive? Talk about outrages!! World class Goment in Bolehwood. Winners hands down. Yes, every project must be scutinised. Do not let these snakes slip away. Good for nothing Goment.

  4. Brother Din,

    In sabai sabai land…PM of Thailand was kicked out from his office because he received payment for a cooking show.

    Here we still keeping and in fact promoting a defence minister who had decided to waste billions without looking at any details.

    To me this is MADNESS and GILA.

    While the rakyat is fighting to survive with the rising prices their leaders are enjoying the loots.

  5. AAB admits mistake, and because the deal is postponed, No more issue lah. The rest are academic. Clap, clap, clap, who says he’s in coma? These people are harebrained!

  6. Heard over TV3 the DPM said although the procurement team did not inspect or test the aircraft, it was, however, tested by RMAF pilots during the recent LIMA exhibition, and their evaluation was co-opted by them. He also said such practice was commonly used in the procurement of other weapons.


    I assume there would be a convening order for this purpose stating amongst others its terms of reference of sort and the composition of the team including the pilots to inspect and test the aircraft. Were the pilots who tested the aicraft during the LIMA exhibition part of the team, and did they also test the aircraft of the other makers vying for the contract? Or was there another set of pilots for the latter aircrafts?


    If the convening order and terms of reference for this procurement exercise were not followed, then, the whole procurement process had not been transparent and a farce. A decision on which aircraft maker to award the tender had been made even beforehand. Why wasn’t it carried out professionally? Therefore, the grouses raised by the retired Captain merit attention and redress.

    The DPM also said that the capability of the aircraft is battle proven in Afganistan but does that mean that its (very) suitable in our type of terrain and weather?

    Just my 2 sen worth.

  7. No wonder Malaysia is a good trading partner to the rest of the world. We are happy to pay RM1.6 Billion to a foreign company by just browsing their “marketing brochure”. Test flights will come later. Yep! We pay first then get to test the hardware. Don’t worry lah. Got guarantee one!

    Malaysia Boleh!!!!

  8. Hey Din,
    In Bolehland,anything and everything is possible.It has been done for the past 51 yrs and no one dared query them.After all, those words like good governance,judicial reforms and transparency are merely words to appease the rakyat for the next 4 months.Then it is BYE BYE to the rakyat.I have had my fill.Let PKR take over the sinking ship.

  9. It is a total shame. One will easily recall data and details with accuracy if they are actually carried out.

    Doubt creeps in when being questioned and with all sort of differing answers emerged.

    If you make up (or lie) stories, you tend to forget what you said because it never really happened.

    If it really did happened, it will stay in your mind and you will be able to recall them in details.

    So the contradicting responses starting from the first statement by the sec-gen where test-flight was not mentioned at all. furthermore, that report should have been included in the analysis and tabulations before submitting to the ministry.

    Let’s see what the PAC conclude by monday.

    oh, by the way, i sent uncle lim an email when the first news broke out in Malaysian Insider about the deferment.

  10. Before buying the helis the RMAF needs to put it through trials to see if it meets the RMAF requiements i.e. Search and Rescue, troop deployment, MediVac, and any other role the RMAF anticipate using the helis. You just can’t guage the helis by a few joy rides at LIMA. The helis must be tried under extreme conditions , in deep jungle, in torrential rains, monsoon storms and severe weather conditions.

    Then the helis need to be evaluated on cost of operation per hour.

    Next the RMAF needs to consider the ease of operations and maintenance, availability of spare parts, training for maintenance crew and any special tools required.

    Then comes pilot training. Cost of training or conversion, real time or through simulator, availability of training and training aid.

    Helis like airplanes can be powered by different engines from several engine makers. RMAF needs to determine that these engines are supported with spares and service personnel.

    Next they need to consider the avionics.

    This is not an exhaustive list A proper procurement exercise will consist of more, not just by looking at glossy brochures and slick presentation by salespeople.

  11. Well, Sherk in Bolehland anything is possible. Luckily there’s the LIMA exhibition. Otherwise they’ll say Rosmah saw the helis while on a trip overseas. The excuses these morons give don’t really make sense. They take the rakyat for suckers.

  12. Tok Cik
    You’re probably right. Sometimes it’s the competitive spirit. Several Malaysian billionaires have their own Agusta 109’s and not to be outdone Rosmah wants a VIP Eurocopter for her use. Looks good as a VIP heli but will it stand the punishment in battle or emergency situation?

  13. Why bother with Royal Commissions, I say. If every single sin commited by Umno-BN is to be investigated by a Royal Commission, we’d be forming Royal Commissions all the way to Kingdom Come & Gone. The Rakyat has a much more effective way to discern whether something is palatable or rotten – WE PUT IT TO THE NOSE TEST!

    The Rakyat’s Verdict: Umno-BN smells worse than a million SB officer’s T-shirts (to quote former ISA detainee Malek Hussin) and is destined for the incinerator. Can’t leave it lying around, it’s so toxic the soil might be contaminated for generations!

  14. To put all the BN-UMNO mess and cock-ups in one basket is the UNDERSTATEMENT of the YEAR 2008! 😉 In any democratic country of the World of Nations, A NATIONAL REFERENDUM is called for…

    What do I know anyways. All I am interested in is peace, love and kindness in the heart of hearts! 🙂

  15. “Then comes pilot training. Cost of training or conversion, real time or through simulator, availability of training and training aid.” Shrek

    The best pilot training in the world cannot save the pilot. Once Rosmah gets her hand on the pilot’s joystick she’ll never let go!

  16. Shrek gives very constructive/useful suggestions on the stringent standards of inspection that equipment procured for military and other security needs must go through before they are passed.

    It’s not just a question of fulfilling tender requirements which can be manipulated anyway!

    I agree absolutely that the training of pilots to man these helis must take up a great chunk of the allocation!

    What’s the point of having the most sophisticated tools and equipment if the people that finally use them are ill-equipped to do so!

    Royal Commission? Malaysia must be the nation with the most number of calls for the establishment of Royal Commissions for this and that!

    Surely there are other ways of ascertaining transparency and accountability?

    Din – surely you know better!

  17. peacelovekindness,

    A national refereundum is the answer! But it has to be one done by the only valid sovereignty, the Rakyat!

    Like a national STANDSTILL, a day and see if a week is needed!!! Severe but in the circumstances with everything numb …?!

  18. Mr. Bean,

    “Once Rosmah gets her hand on the pilot’s joystick she’ll never let go”

    The joystick might bring back the memories of her favorites lollipops during her college years. How could she let it go…

  19. Buy, buy, buy, spend, spend, spend. It’s not Najib or Rosmah’s money. It’s the rakyats money. Who cares about the rakyat and their views or opinions.

    Malaysia buy helis without inspection. Oh we have the expertise to evaluate when they construct the helis. It’s like saying hey build the house and I will tell you if it’s OK or not, no plans needed, just build.

    Taking it a step further Malaysia just appointed a Chief Justice who has never served as a trial judge in the High Courts. Like the buy, buy, buy, now it’s appoint, appoint, appoint. Don’t worry about trial judge experience. We have the expertise to evaluate the Chief Justice. Oh Malaysia

  20. The Chief Justice is not there to administer rule of law..BUT just to make sure that AAAAAAMNOOOOO can continue to bluff and fool the rakyat. Period.

  21. And that applies to appointing the CEO of the country, as well. So long as you’re connected you’re eligible to be the PM. Credibility, honesty, proficiency etc don’t really matter. That’s Umno for you, guys.

  22. Thursday, October 30, 2008
    Is outcome of Munawar’s appeal indicative of what we can expect from Zaki Azmi…new Boss of the Malaysian Judiciary
    Chief Justice Zaki Azmi beginning to throw his true colours…

    Will he be able to be INDEPENDENT of UMNO and his past friends, and be able to be concerned only with justice…

    Will he be a progressive judge only concerned with JUSTICE – not fearful of developing the law so that justice be done…or will he just remain a tool of UMNO and his ‘old friends’.

    Also noted that Zaki Azmi was a businessman with involvement in a string of companies – and if so, he must recuse himself from any case involving those companies and/or related companies or even companies whereby his once fellow member of the Board of Directors or management is involved.

    Website –

  23. Razak Baginda is acquitted while the two police officers, Azilah and Sirul, are being charged for the murder of Altantuya. One culprit, however, has escaped the hands of the law. The appointment of a new CJ makes sense now.

  24. Well money when not spent is of no value. If it does not dribble into Najib or Rosmah’s pocket, it will ultumately land in someone else’s, who cares?!!!

    The 22 years of training under the old Jackal showed the way, how easy it had been done, with his loot easily able to last him another 50 winters if he lives that long to spend it.

  25. Datin Halimah,

    Good governance is basic and easily practised when there is political will. No will is reflected in excuses after excuses and ACA shadow play. The Prime Minister apologises for quoting the wrong figure of rm1.7 billion instead of rm1.607 billion. The difference of rm97 million is not a kacang putih figure. Badawi is plain irresponsible as Prime Minister.

    What at issue to me is the procurement system adopted by the Ministry of Defence under that crook called Najib who is slated to be our next Prime Minister. They are doing things on the back of envelopes, so it seems. Do we really know, for example, whether decision to acquire 2 French made submarines —Najib’s cronies earned some rm500 million in commission—was made on the basis of proper evaluation. I suspect it is based on the amount of commissions his cronies can get.

    That is why I back Anwar Ibrahim’s call for a Royal Commission to look into not only Eurocopter deal but also Maybank’s acquisition of an Indonesian bank and the rm 11+ billion Broadband project. Our country cannot afford financial scandals of any sort. Frankly, the entire government must fall before we can start a fresh.

    Those who are found guilty should be made to pay for their crimes against the people of Malaysia. In some countries like China those found guilty of corruption are executed before a firing squad. I am not suggesting that we do that in Malaysia. But the sentences meted out to the corrupt should be a serious deterrent.—Din Merican

  26. Royal Commission come Royal Commission go. All Bark but no Bite. Even the Royal Commission on Lingam doesn’t leave a bite mark. Must have used dentures.

    Anybody surprised at verdict of Razak Baginda? Guess the sms between Najis and Shaftee has some role huh? It’s always the little guys that get the big stick.

  27. When Malaysians have become so sceptical of appointments, even of the Chief Justice and Prime Minister of what credibility is a Royal Commission recommended or appointed by these same people?

    Even the work of the Police and the ACA is being questioned!

    Before we talk of a PR takeover of the government in the near future, let’s hypothesise that a 2-party system will evolve in the not too distant future, and a more credible system of checks and balances will emerge!

    But I remain sceptical of the integrity and trustworthiness of new Malaysian leaders – BN or PR – unless and until proper mechanisms are in place to stop the rot!

    The rot that has evolved in the psyche of Malaysians besotted by material pursuits and political power and everything that goes with them!!!

    Whether it is the Malays, Chinese, Indians or the other major ethnic groups one thing is all pervasive – the quest for wealth at the expense of moral values!

    There has to be a revolution for things to change! Or a major upheaval of laws and regulations and a thorough moral cleansing of their implementors!

    Din – I remain sceptical of promises, promises, promises!

  28. If I may add, halimah, the Tunku left Malaysians a reminder, for us all in national reconstruction. The message is embedded in “Negara Ku” or “Terang Boelan”. And please, gentlemen and ladies, I’m not making light banter of this –

    Terang boelan di pinggir kali
    Buaya timbul disangkanya mati
    Jangan percaya mulutnya lelaki
    Berani sumpah tapi taku mati.

    We may synthesize that to apply to perempuan, too!

    Remember that when you hear Negara Ku!

  29. it is quite alarming with regards to the brisk car boot sales of “toy helicopters”…imagine what would transpire from the value cap deal….

  30. Dear Datin Halimah, with all due respect, Ma’am, an exemplary People’s Leader (Pemimpin Rakyat) like Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim (DSAI), as the unanimous leader of the People’s Alliance (Pakatan Rakyat) has delivered on some of his promises, if not all. 🙂

    Justifiably, DSAI’s smitten track record thus far is good enough reason for the People of Malaysia (Rakyat Malaysia) to plea bargain with the Constitutional Monarch (the Yang Di-Pertuan Agung of Malaysia) to grant a Royal Order for the Opposition to seek the people’s support through a National Referendum to end the political mess and the gross mismanagement of Governance that the ruling National Front (Barisan National) has put themselves in now — from the top leadership down to grassroot levels.

    A Royal intervention is the ultimate choice, although not necessarily as a last resort. Such a move will definitely uplift the relevancy of the Monarchical Institution in the Malaysian context. I am simply a humble pro-DSAI ‘King-maker’. 😉

  31. Pak Din,

    Para pemimpin UMNO amat KUAT dan PERKASA..

    Cadangan untuk menubuhkan apa Suruhanjaya Diraja atau Suruhanjaya Rakyat hanyalah sia sia….sebab yg nak approvekan semua tu..pak pak menteri jugakk…

    siapa yg dalam kabinet berani lawan tokehh…?

    lu lawan lu siaplah….!!

    Oleh yg demikian….kita bongkar semua kebobrokan para para pemimpin negara yg korupsi dan gagal menjaga harat negara ini….

    Timbalan menteri pertahan ..jawab tak perlu buat test flight sebab ada spect tambahan yg Malaysia perlukan …so…kita agree on paper jer…cukopp..

    Pak Timbalan Perdana ..jawabb…PILOT RMAF dah uji semasa kat LIMA dulu….cukoplah….

    Pak Perdana Menteri jawab lagi best……Saya terbaca silap …Harga dia patut lebih rendah pada tur….

    Kita akan nego lagi sbelum kita bayarrr….he3…

    Seronok betul jadi Menteri2 kat Malaysia nie…sebab…mereka masih fikir rakyat jelata….
    tu macam pengikut parti mereka..yg memang konfirm ramai yg masih buat buat…Buta Tuli dan Bisu….kerana terlalu TAKSUB PADA Parti serta Pucuk Pimpinan mereka….

    Helloo pak pak Menteri…rakyat dah lama menyampah dengan perangai lu orang yg tak habis habis nak susah rakyat…..

  32. “Razak Baginda is acquitted while the two police officers, Azilah and Sirul, are being charged for the murder …” Tok Cik

    No, Razak Baginda was not acquitted. Just that his defence was not called. Prosecution failed to make out a case against him – the first hurdle.

    An accused could be acquitted at the end of the trial with a verdict of not guilty. Once acquitted he could not be tried again – rule against double jeopardy.

    In Razak’s case theoretically he could be tried again but it is unlikely unless there is new evidence.

  33. Now it looks like the only way Razak Baginda could be tried again is for the duo to spill the beans. But why should they do that since that would tantamount to a confession on their part?

    The veracity of the evidence against the duo is compelling. It would take a convoluted legal reasoning on the part of the trial judge to enable him to find both not guilty. My guess is the trial judge would find the duo not guilty for lack of evidence and the case would then go on appeal where his not guilty verdict would be overturned.

    Is Razak Baginda out of the woods?? I don’t think so. The duo may turn on him but could that succeed?? Your guess is as good as mine.

  34. Eurocopter’s EC725 only had its maiden flight for the French Armed Forces in 2000.The French Air Force will ultimately operate 6 EC725 helicopters of which 4 were delivered in 2006.
    The question is why do Malaysia’s Air Force need 12 when the French with a bigger GDP and Defence Budget needed only 6.
    The Malaysian Defence Minister visited the Paris Air Show between 18 June and 24 June 2007 where Eurocopters had bookings for 114 helicopters during the Air Show with a combined value of Euros 1.2 billion ,although it is unclear whether all were EC725,s.
    Eurocopter established in 1972 as a French/German/Spanish group is a division of EADS.In 2006 Eurocopter’s turnover was Euro3.8 Bn.
    Hope this information is useful for further discussions.

  35. Shrek, appreciate your comment. After all these years they all knew tho SOP of purchasing aircraft equipments.

    The problem is, they don’t give a damn !!!

    Plus the ‘dirty money’ provided by the makers to ‘shut out’ any other decent parties.

    Any good decent proposal will be thrown into the bin.

  36. Ha Ha Ha !!! Abu Seman. You are considered ‘gone’.
    You can forget being in the future cabinet if there is going to be any.

    How stupid can you be !!! My 15 yrs old son can give a better answer.

    Oh No !!! I forgot , this is a typical example of the present UMNO Minister.

    Bodoh !!!

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