SHAH ALAM: Business daily, The Edge, is reporting that the MACC has started investigating alleged impropriety in the FLIT/LCA tender. The publication is also saying that the Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) T/FA-50 was the front-runner for the tender.
From The Edge
KOREA Aerospace Industries (KAI) has emerged as the front runner to secure a RM4 billion contract to supply the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) with 18 light combat aircraft (LCA), according to sources familiar with the outcome. However, the award is said to have triggered an investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), following a complaint by one of the unsuccessful bidders.
The anti-graft body is understood to have opened a case file on the matter based on documents and text messages sighted by The Edge.
MACC declined to comment when contacted.
Meanwhile, caretaker Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein assures that the contract is being handled professionally by those responsible for the multi-billion ringgit deal.
The report quoted a Datuk Lau Kong Cheng, a consultant to one of the bidders as saying that the Finance Ministry should not be negotiating with KAI as the current government was only a caretaker and therefore had no right to enter into any contracts. Lau is quoted in in November 1 Harian Metro report which stated that one of the bidders for the FLIT/LCA had lodged a police report alleging impropriety with the tender process. The report quoted Lau as a retired Brigadier General and the managing director of Paragon Avtech Sdn Bhd. (A Google check showed Lau was a former fighter pilot). The report did not say which aircraft the company had bid for the tender
However, an earlier Harian Metro report quoted Lau as saying the Avic JF-17 Thunder was a better plane than the South Korean aircraft which meant the company was representing the aircraft. The report also quoted Lau as saying that the company had also bid for the MALE UAS tender (AFAIK, no police report was lodged).
It is likely the police forwarded Lau’s report to the MACC for further investigations as it found that the alleged impropriety was in the powers of the commission (or he himself lodged a report with the MACC). As I have no current contacts with the MACC, I guess we will have to wait for the commission or the Edge to announce new developments on the case. Malaysian Defence had reported previously that the FLIT/LCA decision rested with the Finance Ministry. With a new government expected only by Wednesday at the latest, I guess the final decision on the tender will not be made any time soon. The new government will need to
come up with a new budget first.
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