Pre-empting Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's answer to the adjournment speech by PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar on the Scorpene saga later tonight, the opposition party insists that the minister must answer for the leaked naval documents revealed in a French inquiry on the matter. They based their demands on recently-leaked investigation papers from the French Scorpene probe obtained by journalist John Berthelsen and published by news portal Asia Sentinel which clearly mentioned the secret navy papers as being part of the evidence discovered by investigators.
"Upon receiving certain information relating to the documents exposed by John Berthelsen, we have verified Document 151 in the French investigation files has a comment written by the investigatiors," said PKR political bureau member R Sivarasa (left) in a press conference at Parliament lobby today. The comment which they had translated from French, claimed Sivarasa, mentioned the internal Malaysian navy evaluation document of the initial offer from DCNS.
He argued that the papers are proof that the leaked naval documents exist and the defence minister's answer should not be just more denials but address the following concerns:
- How did the secret document get into Terasasi's hands and then DCNS's?
- Who is responsible for selling the document?
- Is the government going to investigate and will political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda be clled in for questioning?
PKR vice-president Tian Chua (right) also refuted a Defence Ministry written answer to him that Terasasi was not involved in the purchase of the Scorpene submarines from DCNS by Malaysia. The written answer said that the Defence Ministry had no knowledge that Terasasi had any dealings in the purchase, nor of any contact between Terasasi and Thint Asia, a DCNS subsidiary.
He furnished copies of company search documents from Hong Kong which he claimed showed clearly that Terasasi is a company registered in Hong Kong and whose shares are owned by Razak Baginda and his father. Tian Chua claimed that the similarities in ownership between Terasasi and Perimekar showed that they are the almost the same company and indeed controlled by the same people. He argued that they fulfilled the same function for the purchase of the subs.