You May Get Your Wish, ShahF (or Is The Cougar doing a Rooivalk?)


KUALA LUMPUR: Reader ShahF in his comments for the Cougar, Why suggested that the Cougar purchase be postponed or shelved due to the economic crisis.

Well, an Internet newsportal, The Malaysian Insider is quoting sources that DPM had postponed the deal due to the economic crisis although Bernama quickly reported that no decision had been made on the matter, just yet. Malaysian Defence has not heard anything yet but with the current economic situation nothing is guaranteed apart from life and death, of course

Since the Cougar deal has only reached the LOI stage, shelving the deal may well be prudent in these uncertain times but yet, again the Armed Forces will have to deal with another set-back due to past mistakes.

Yes, the Nuri could undergo another up-grade programme (as suggested by ShahF) but really, have we done anything within the last decade to ensure such a risky venture would be successful and would actually enhance the capabilities of these National Asset? I doubt it.

Anyway, the conspiracy theorists would claimed that the economic crisis had nothing to do with supposed postponement and the real reason is that Najib is getting scared with all the brouhaha over the selection of the Cougar instead the good enough Mi-17s.

Malaysian Defence breathed a sigh of relief when Mindef decided to shelve the ridiculous Rooivalk deal in 1999 but this time around only silence. Anyway, the Rooivalk shared a common heritage with the Cougar. It was developed by Denel from the Puma during the dark days of apartheid.

–Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2203 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Well done. If that’s the case the Government must be more transparent in acquisition of billions and trillions of defence equipment. Thus the White Paper must be presented to the Parliament. Our Ministry of Defence must work collaboratively between the Bahagian Dasar, Policy and Planned of Respective Services, Industri Pertahanan, STRIDE and most important the Stakeholder of the Country (Rakyar through Parliament where it is debated and approved) before embarking on the acquisition. See Australia, South Africa and even US Senate Procurement Comitte and the Congress. They are not perfect but the stakeholder is in the loop.

    There are areas of benefits which cannot be quantified in Ringgit for these acquisitions such as Economical Benefits from Technology Transfer, Political Leverages in the World Arena, Trade Loberalization, Social Impact on alleviating the Standard of Living and so forth thus the Government through MINDEF, MOF and EPU in the Prime Minister Department must be well Articulated in presenting and defending the purchase for the benefits of the Nation. Bukan syok-syok beli aje.Cheers.

  2. Now the situation is that local news quote a number of USD54mil per unit which is almost double of the H-92 and identical (at least what the opposition leaders claimed) Brazilian Cougar.

    However, from the Letter to Public from the MoD I post earlier claimed that cougar were USD24mil each. If you agree with me that tender T521/07/A/007 (US$348,178,365)= H-92, then H-92 is more expensive with a USD29mil price tag per unit.

    Meanwhile despite opposition leaders spreading speculations since the announcement of the outcome, Mentari Service (Subagent of the Canadian agent Mi-17KF) and Sikorsky had sent their objection to the MoD for not having a fair game.

    In conclusion, the time of event goes like this:
    1. Najib made the decision right before he swap position with Abdulah
    2. Abdulah annouced it at the 3rd day of his MoD carrier, and sent LOI
    3. Opposition leaders starts to spread speculation
    4. Local news agent NST quote: “USD600mil were located for the project”
    5. A set of letter of objection from Mentari Service to the MoD, which were suppose to be private within two parties were being leaked out.
    6. The 1st letter claimed they had the best offer in term of price and voice their upsetness for not having a fair challege. However it gave confusion price figures and the 2nd letter was intend to correct these figures, which however, still confusing.
    7. A rumor starts to spread that the EC won the bid even before the trial ends
    8. A few reporters from local defence mag had voice their support for the MoD, which one of them wrote an letter to public states that although EC volunteered to send an example to Malaysia, RMAF officers went all around the world to test other tenders’ example.
    9. And of course, MoD publish a letter to public which we had both english and malay written version above.
    10. Public Accounts Committee were being asked to investigate
    11. Sikorsky 2nd to voice their grievances.
    12 A local news that oriented to the opposition spread news that the project was canceled.
    13. Bernama quote statement from a “real insider” that since the beginning, it is just an LOI, not a LOA (letter of award). And the decision is not canceled but doing some “adjustment”.

    Marhalim: Yes, I believe you got it right that the Cougar is priced at USD24 million each (around my estimates of course). Mentari Services is trying to sell an Mi-17 modified Kelowna, which is cheaper of course, but its something that may or may not work.

    I do not believe in shelving the project unless the economy crisis took a turn for worse, which may yet happen. Anyway since the money is coming from the PM Department, I do not believed that the project should be shelved otherwise, within the next few years they may yet to fork out the same amount and this time around IT will come from the defence budget, which is already small enough.

    If the PM Department can throw away some RM140 million to buy two amphibians they could spend the same amount to purchase at least two Cougars initially and buy one each annually during this bad times. Sikorsky can cry to the sky if they want too, they did not have the right product this time around….

  3. In a tender process, you can have a down select where you pick the best proposals and then conduct a second round of negotiations to obtain better terms from the vendors. However if you eliminate all but one, that becomes the de facto tender winner. At this point, tender deposits are returned and unsuccessful tenderers receive a tender debrief to explain how and why the decision came to be. We are in the rather bizzare position of Eurocopter being the de facto winner without a finalised position and without official closure to the tender. Perhaps we should have called it a Malaysian Style International Open Tender, detailing our special tender peculiarities…….

    However now that we have a winner, we MUST proceed with the acquisition as per the tender document, to do otherwise would be mala fide on the part of the Malaysian Government. However, as there was no down select and opportunities for a best and final offer, MINDEF and Eurocopter are bound by the tender terms with no revision and adjustment possible. Changing the contract conditions (including specs and pricing) would be mala fide.

    This is where the PAC comes in….. it has to ensure that the EC725 is brought in at the tender price and in that configuration. If the tender was faulty, MINDEF officials from the KSU down have to be brought to task. If Eurocopter low balled the tender confident of upward revision, they should be held to the tender pricing or face disqualification and black listing from all future business from the Malaysian government. Since the tender price is approx RM 1.1 billion, we could afford 24 helicopters with the money allocated and replace all the Nuris on a 1:1 basis.

    I cannot see how the government can claim not to be able to afford the money for this obviously top priority programme with far reaching impact given that they OKed 5 billion ringgit for Valuecap, throwing money at a slumping market. I’m sure a trained economist like the MoF knows only too well that doing so just fritters away taxpayer’s money.

    I have come to love the EC725 because of the terrific leverage it has given the body public into MINDEF and the procurment mechanism and the wonderful opportunity of having Eurocopter over a barrel…….

  4. the gov decided to delay the nuri replacement.
    hurmmm looks like someone in the ministry of finance will be disappointed.

  5. Dear athrun zala,

    It’s not the one from MoF that is disappointed, its the man in the MoD himself, just figure where the TKSU *********** from, this is staged……..After the Home Ministry Eurocopter success, now it’s MoD.

    Studyla bro.

  6. First off, I want to make make it clear that I am by no means an expert on military matters. But I was intrigued by your comment that the Rooivalk is ridiculous. I would have thought that the bird was the best thing that ever happened to Malaysia since sliced bread! We had (and still do) a vast numerical and technological inferiority in armor and fast jets just won’t be able to hack it in the anti-armor and CAS roles.

    When it comes to choosing attack choppers, the Rooivalk would have been on the top of my list. Designed to operate in environments similar to Malaysia’s (and not some super clean European theater of operations), fully autonmous and can be forward deployed with nothing more than a toolbox. Besides, Turkey (at least back then) wanted it when it was not available. And it was the leading contender for the British Army requirements, until political considerations and subtle threats nicked its chances.

    Like I said, I’m curious!

    Marhalim: It was the decision to purchase them that was ridiculous. It was obvious that it was knee jerk reaction to the Singapore decision to buy the Apache, nothing more. And the fact that the procurement came ahead of finding a replacement for the Nuri, make it even more foolish. I had nothing to diss against the wonderful performance of the Rooivalk. How ridiculous was the decision to purchase the Rooivalk? When they got the money, the deal wasnt finalised.

  7. PUTD needs attack choppers like it needs another hole in the head. They are of marginal utility in anything other than a shooting war and we cannot afford to get into one of those. It is a masturbatory fantasy that the Army cannot afford to indulge in at the expense of more critical capabilities , like medium and heavy lift. Yet it was able to go so far. It goes to show that Kementah is staffed with toadies and bootlickers who lack the intestinal fortitude to tell the minister he is full of it.

    The joke is that not only can we not match Singapore for defence spending, we invariably get less bang for our ringgit thanks to the ‘National Interest’ considerations that the cronies and flunkies depend on.

    Strikemaster…you’re clueless, not curious.

    Marhalim: The Rooivalk was supposed to be operated by the air force as the PUTD at that point was just a “paper” corps.

  8. Ah…but they are STILL fantasizing about them….. Army people tell me this with a straight face. The mind boggles.

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