By Ken Vin Lek
KUALA LUMPUR: PKR's Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar has denied committing treachery as alleged by Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The minister had lambasted the opposition politician over her statements regarding Malaysia's submarines, which were published in the Indonesian newspaper, Kompas.
He claimed that Nurul, the daughter of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, had tarnished the nation's image and put its security at risk.
However, Nurul begged to differ.
Speaking to FMT, she said the label “national traitor” was more befitting for a minister who abused his power and indulged in corruption.
“If it is true that the minister is a patriot, why then is he not supporting the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) probe on the commission paid to Perimekar Sdn Bhd for the purchase of the Scorpene submarines as stated by the Dewan Rakyat speaker on July 2.
“Is it not the trait of a true traitor who uses public coffers to pay the high costs for the submarine to the government’s ‘golden boy’ (Abdul Razak Baginda) consulting company and to purchase equipment or the multiplied cost of projects to fill the pockets of the ‘chosen ones'?” she asked.
Nurul said her comments which appeared in Kompas were based on the official answer given by the defence minister on March 17 in the Dewan Rakyat about one of the submarines not being able to dive because of technical problems.
'I am ready to be investigated'
Despite the Royal Malaysian Navy having filed a police report against her, Nurul stood by her statements.
“I am ready to be investigated and I hope that the investigations will bring to light other issues relating to the purchase of the submarines,” she said.
In a statement yesterday, Nurul also pointed out that the problems regarding the submarine were common knowledge.
“In light of the image and national security of the country which have been apparently affected by my statement, I would like to bring up a statement made by the minister on the very same day who said that technical problems like this are also faced by many other countries all over the world.
“If this information regarding the status of submarines is available openly all over the world, where is the rationale with regards to my statement threatening national security?” she said.
Nurul also quoted an Aug 6 Bernama article, which revealed that the navy was only conducting its integrated navy exercise once, instead of three times, a year in order to save cost.
According to her, this was a greater threat to national security.
“What would be the reaction of the enemies if they found out that the navy only performs such training once a year. I fear for the country which has wide coastal areas to only conduct such tests only once a year,” she said.
In the interview with the Indonesian daily, Nurul was asked to comment on the submarine scandal being investigated by the French authorities and was quoted as saying, “The submarine purchased by the Malaysian government cannot dive and the weaponry which was purchased has clearly expired.”
The alleged corruption in the sales of the two Scorpene submarines purchased by Malaysia from the French shipbuilder DCN is currently being probed by French judicial officials.
The case was opened at the request of Malaysian rights group Suaram, which alleged that DCN paid a commission of 114 million euros (RM635 million) Perimekar Sdn Bhd, which is owned by Abdul Razak Baginda, a close associate of the Prime Minister, Najib Razak.
Zahid previously said there was no need for any investigations to be carried out by the MACC citing that the deal was approved by the Finance Ministry and was in accordance with the procurement procedures despite the revelation of the hefty sum of commission paid to Perimekar.
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