PAC finds no evidence of abuse in Eurocopter tender process
By: Husna Yusop and Giam Say Khoon (Mon, 03 Nov 2008)KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 3, 2008) :The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) did not find any evidence of abuse of power in the tender process by the Defence Ministry for the RM1.6 billion purchase of 12 Eurocopter EC725 helicopters.Azmi and his deputy Tan Seng Giew at the PAC meeting yesterday.However, PAC chairman Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid expressed concern that the deal, now on hold, was struck without any physical inspection. "Although we did not find anything incriminating in the two-day inquiry, PAC members have expressed the need to continue monitoring the progress of the deal because it is a high-profile case. We will not to conduct inquiries and call back witnesses or new witnesses if necessary," he said today.Azmi said the committee the tender process conducted according to international standard and transparent. " We were unable to determine the correct price for the deal because we could only evaluate from the best tender. According to the terms of tender, the tendered price of RM1.604 billion from the Eurocopter will only hold until February. "After that, it will have to depend on whether the manufacturer is still willing to sell at the same price," he added.However, Azmi said PAC was not satisfied with the ministry for not having a physical inspection before choosing Eurocopter. He said the test flight pilots of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) had tried the helicopter and thus opined that physical inspection was not necessary. "So we suggested to the RMAF to make physical inspection compulsory in future and a decision was made that a thorough pre-delivery inspection will be conducted when the deal is done,," he said.To those who cleverly claim no flight-test was done in alleging improper tender process, please note that the finding is that such a flight test was done aaa but now the recommendation is that physical inspection is carried out upon receiving the helicopters. For those of you with no brain, this means when the helicopters have finished being manufactured and ready to be received aaa, not before. Anyway this is a no brainer as it is an established industry practise, so does this imply we have not done pre-receiving inspection before. That would be a surprise and is worth further investigation.Azmi said PAC also proposed that the government set up an independent review panel to monitor any expensive procurement. "It is up to the government to determine whether procurement involving RM100 million and above should be monitored by a panel but that will ensure that a purchase is done in a more transparent manner. Azmi also explained that there was confusion in the price of the helicopters as different figures had been reported. "All figures were incorrect as we had seven tenders and only three of them were suitable. Of the three, the lowest tender was RM1.262 billion, followed by RM1.604 billion and RM2.442 billion, but the government had chosen the RM1.604 billion tender as it met the requirements set by the Air Force," he said. Asked why the government did not choose the lowest tender, Azmi said only Eurocopter has managed to meet the requirements set by the ministry. The requirements, I cannot reveal," he said.To all of you so called experts out there, please note that only this helicopter meet all the requirements by the Air Force, so even though the price was not the lowest it was the lowest fully compliant tender so naturally it was selected la. By the way, even the PAC cannot disclose the requirements, so don't play-play and clever-clever speculate your own specs aa...definitely not like your spectacles one...."The Nuri helicopters are in the process of being phased out although RMAF has ensured that the helicopters are still airworthy until 2015. A total of 95 persons died in helicopter crashes involved Nuris and it is difficult to determine whether the crashes were due to human error. " We are also worried about delaying the replacement of the Nuri," said Azmi.So please-please my Dear Government, stop politicising this issue with your political fears and issue your LOA to Eurocopter before the price validity ends in February 2009 .On the allegation by Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) that the Nuris can still function for another 20 years, Azmi said the Nuris did not have night flight capability and were unable to perform auto-pilot rescue in the air. These can only be overcome by using new helicopters and it will cost more for the Nuris to be upgraded" he said. --- end ---Aiyaa Uncle Lim, now you understand aa...Nuri not suitable for CSAR as cannot hover one and cannot fly night time. And to modify to include all these items as proposed for the cougar "radar warning receiver, laser warning receiver, missile launch warning receiver etc", it would cost more la, so the only advantage is for you politically but our airmen will still be risking their lifes for your political games only. So if any Nuri drop I put it on your head aaaa !Ptui!
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
I did not want to comment on the Public Accounts Committee's investigation into the Cougar CSAR Helicopter purchase before this as it would have been sub-judiced but this following report by The Sun that I found to be the most accurate and complete on their findings has actually vindicated the purchase. I have put my personal comments in red at the end of some the statements in the article and I sincerely hope that the Government will act on the PAC's worries about the continuing delay in the replacement of the Nuri's due to this foolish storm in the cup unresponsibly created by these political opportunitist and issue the LOA to Eurocopter before the price validity expires in February 2009.