Court probing Razak’s role in Scorpene deal – Malaysiakini

by Malaysiakini

Suaram’s case filed in France against French naval company DCNS in 2011, on kickbacks allegedly paid out in Malaysia’s RM7.3 billion Scorpene submarine deal, is still “alive” according to a former director of the NGO, Cynthia Gabriel.As the case was filed during her tenure, she still maintains an interest in it.

Gabriel (right) said to the best of her knowledge, the NGO, which filed the case in Paris in 2011, had not abandoned the case.

She said the court was trying to confirm whether political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, who escaped trial and conviction for the murder of Mongolian national, Altantuya Shaariibuu, had acted in a formal capacity for Malaysia’s Defence Ministry.

Gabriel said so far, Abdul Razak, believed to be living in the United Kingdom now, was featured as a “friend or close ally” of Najib Abdul Razak, who at that time was deputy prime minister.

Najib, who is now Malaysia’s prime minister, was also defence minister during the procurement of the submarines, for which the deals were inked in 2002.

“There is no certainty that Abdul Razak had acted as a public sector officer. Whether he acted in a formal capacity for the Defence Ministry or as a friend of Najib, is now being determined by the court.

“His role was as the main negotiator in the procurement process,” said Gabriel, one of the founders of the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4), an anti-graft watchdog.

She said Suaram had asked several legal bigwigs and professors of law to actually study the case, to determine if Najib’s aides, like Abdul Razak, can be subjected to the The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) convention.

The OECD convention only applies to wrongdoing by public sector officials.

“The Malaysian government should answer and collaborate with the French courts in this matter but so far they have not,” Gabriel claimed.

Alleged kickbacks

Suaram had alleged that DCNS paid 114.9 million Euro (RM452 million) in kickbacks to Perimekar Sdn Bhd –  a company partially owned by Abdul Razak, in the sale of two Scorpene-class submarines to Malaysia.

Both the government and the “architect” of the deal, one Jasbir Singh Chahl, had defended the Scorpene contract award, saying it was made on a transparent basis to “the technically most qualified party on a commercially competitive negotiated price.”

In an interview with Bernama, Jasbir had explained that the contract between the Malaysian government and Perimekar Sdn Bhd was for “defined scope of works”, and provision of such services was within commercial norms.

Bernama had reported that Jasbir said Perimekar was nominated as the local vehicle to spearhead the submarine project, while Terasasi Sdn Bhd (TSB) was incorporated to serve as an external service provider to advise and assist Thales.

Jasbir had also claimed that Altantuya, who was murdered by two former bodyguards of Najib in 2006, was not involved when the deal was negotiated and finally signed in 2002.

However, during the initial court case into her murder, Abdul Razak had revealed that Altantuya (right) was his lover, and had come to Malaysia to “blackmail” him.

Her father, Setev Shaariibuu had always asserted that his daughter acted as a translator for Abdul Razak and was allegedly involved in business deals with him.

Last week, the Federal Court upheld the decision of the High Court, to sentence to death two former police special action unit (UTK) members, former chief inspector Azilah Hadri and corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, for Altantuya’s murder although the motive for killing her has never been established.

Meanwhile, Gabriel pointed out that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was reported as applying to use the Mutual Legal Assistance Act (MLA) to get help from the French authorities in its probe into the Malaysia’s purchase of the subs.

Gabriel also revealed that the court had interviewed three French personnel and is planning to indict two of them; one was the financial director of DCNS, a shipyard builder based in Paris.

“He was found to have abused his power and violated the OECD convention, which prohibits commissions and kickbacks to public officials,” Gabriel said.

Gabriel is aware that there have been questions over Suaram’s expenses for the case, dubbed Ops Scorpene, but pointed out the updated accounts for 2013 is on the NGO’s website.

The last fundraising exercise Suaram did was in July 2013, and thebalance showed is RM30,598.88.

Ops Scorpene Income & Expenditure Statement | 31 Dec 2013




Balance b/f                                                                                                     (RM       888-00)



i)   Fundraising dinner held on 17/6/2013

  • Tickets (RM80,250)
  • Donations(42,836.90)                                                                        RM123,086.90

ii)  Contribution from LFL                                                                               RM  50,000.00

iii) Public donation                                                                                          RM  10,787.00

iv)  Sales                                                                                                          RM       850-00

Total Income                                                                                                  RM184,723.90


Less Expenditure:

1. Fundraising dinner                                      RM 30,619.20

2. Legal Fees

i)     Apr-Jun 2013(RM39,607)

ii)    Jul-Sep 2013 (RM27,259)

iii)  Oct-Dec 2013 (RM28,100)                                   RM 94,966-00


3. Working meeting with French Lawyers

in Paris (14-16 Nov 2013)

i)  Accommodation (RM1,610.82)

ii) Euro Train Ride (RM635.85)

iii) Local Transport (RM339.12)

iv) Per diem (RM593.46)                                RM   3,179.25


4. Flight fare for French lawyer

(France to Singapore)                                 RM  22,772.57


5. Translation fee                                            RM      1,700.00


Total Expenses                                                                                              (RM153,237.02)

Balance                                                                                                            RM    30,598.88

Jasbir Sing Chahl: We want the whole truth behind the Scorpene scandal







30 JULY 2013






SUARAM views with interest the weekend revelations of Jasbir Singh Chahl, on the SCORPENE Submarine procurement, and welcomes his sudden willingness to speak about the controversial deal, of which he was a key negotiator.  We urge him to come clean on the full details of the procurement, which has now dragged on to be one of the largest corruption scandals of the country.


SUARAM had to await confirmation from our lawyers in France, before addressing the media.


  1. 1.     JASBIR as Witness to the French Courts

Firstly, we confirm via our Lawyers in France (William Bourdon and Apoline Cagnat)  that Jasbir Singh Chahl is a witness to the ongoing criminal inquiry, and that the investigations are still ongoing.  This verification coincides with his own admissions in the NST article that he has been in close contact and has been cooperating with the French investigators.  His statement to the NST vindicates further that the SUARAM initiated inquiry at the Tribunal de Grande Instance is making sound progress and is gaining traction.


  1. We remind the press that this is the same man who just last year came out with strong denials that he was involved in the scandal ridden procurement, following SUARAM’s expose that he would be among the key witnesses to be called before the French tribunal to testify.


  1. Whatever his motivation to come out of his silence after more than a decade, Malaysians will never know.  He has done well by opening a can of worms with his NST interview, and by doing so provoking further interest into the corruption allegations, where after more than a decade, many answers are still left wanting.



Why was JASBIR OUSTED of the DEAL?

  1. 4.     SUARAM urges Jasbir to take the next step and go all the way to reveal the full details of the procurement, his role in closing the deal, why he was ousted from the negotiations, why did then Defence Minister Najib  see it fit to intervene and push his long time friend Razak Baginda into the foray to lead the negotiations instead?


  1. 5.     JASBIR’s RM50 million suit against BAGINDA

It is no secret really that Jasbir had a major fallout with Razak Baginda, as described in the contents of an article published in the Far Eastern Economic review (FEER) back in 2002. A RM 50 million suit was filed by Jasbir , but he eventually settled for an out of court of settlement, according to French investigating papers. SUARAM wonders why none of these details were articulated in the NST article.



  1. 6.     JASBIR and TERASASI?

What about Jasbir’s role in Terasasi Sdn Bhd, and why this mysterious company was never made public? If not for the French investigations, Malaysians would still be in the dark over this. Jasbir is compelled  to tell us the exact amounts of money that Terasasi received from French shipbuilders, and what exactly led to its dissolution of the company here  and why the subsequent formation in Hong Kong.




On the subject of Altantuya Shaaribu, SUARAM reiterates that we had never described her as a translator. In fact SUARAM has asked repeatedly what was her real role in the submarine deal? It comes as no surprise to read Jasbir’s admission that he had never met her, as he was pushed out of the deal midway.


The question that begs to be answered is who is Altantuya , what was her role in the procurement of the submarines if any, and why was she so brutally killed. The French inquiry despite its emphasis on the corruption crimes and kickbacks, have agreed to probe the circumstances around Altantuya’s death and whatever connections she could have had with the submarine deal.


PERIMEKAR and the EURO 114.9 million euro

  1. Finally, we read with deep interest Jasbir’s lame attempt at vaguely doing a breakdown at how the Euro 114.9 million Euros was derived and paid to Perimekar.


We note that Perimekar ‘s annual statements have shown a tumble since its inception. Between 2009 and 2010, while the submarines were being delivered, Perimekar’s activity has slid down: the company has seen its net income decrease from a profit of RM19 million to a loss amounting to RM3.3 million.


The financial report of 2010 stated: “The company’s project with the government of Malaysia was completed on Dec 25, 2009, after which a downsizing exercise was done in a fair manner and the company was focusing on prospecting for other viable business opportunities.”


Was Perimekar set up just to receive the kickbacks from the Submarine Deal?


Why was Jasbir silent on all of these?





–          It is clear from Jasbir’s interview that the French inquiry is making headway.  Many attempts have been made to discredit SUARAM and our lawyers in France, but today we are more than glad to confirm that the French investigators are digging deeper to uncover the truth, and Jasbir has admitted  that he has been in constant communications in this criminal inquiry.


–          SUARAM demands that the full and whole truth be made known, and for Jasbir to answer the above questions, as his interview in the NST has far from cleared the doubts around the corruption commission and kickbacks. This man as the original negotiator has all the information, and must act  with full responsibility to come clean on what actually happened.


–          Jasbir and all other witnesses listed cooperate with the French inquiry to bring the truth behind this controversy once and for all.


–          For MACC to drop its long and pregnant silence over this case, and open its investigation books. Its really time to nab big fish corruption.







Released by,


SUARAM Secretariat














Ops Scorpene Income and Expenditure Statement




Balance b/f                                                                                                      RM   7,279-00


i)   Fundraising dinner -15 June 2012 ( RM238,837)

ii)  Donations (RM8,000)

iii) Sales (RM665)                                                                     RM247,502-00

Total Income                                                                        RM254,781-00


Less Expenditure:

1. Fundraising dinner                                                            RM 38,479

2. Legal Fees

i)    Jul-Sep 2012 (RM36,034)

ii)   Oct-Dec 2012 (RM37,825)

iii)  Jan-Mar 2013 (RM38,025)                                    RM111,884


3. Paris Trip (18-21 March 2013)                                RM 12,257

4. Campaigns

i)  Advertisements                                                              RM   1,000

ii) Press Conference (hall rental)                                  RM       660

iii) Road shows

Penang (RM1,640)

Perak (RM635)

Johore (RM1,055)

Kota Bahru (RM554)

Trengganu (RM1,005)

Pahang (RM663)

Singapore (RM2,308)

Sabah (RM261-00)                              RM    9,781


4. Printing

i)   Brochures (RM830)

ii)  T-shirts (RM21,850)

iii) Cartoon books (RM20,295)                        RM 42,975


5. SuaramProgram &Admin Cost         RM 38,633

Total Expenditure                                                                       ( RM255,669)

Balance                                                                                               ( RM         888)



Ops Scorpene Buka Puasa and Fundraising Dinner on 19 July 2013

19 JULY 2013, 7pm at DEWAN SIVIK, MBPJ
19 JULY 2013, 7pm at DEWAN SIVIK, MBPJ





SUARAM is proud that today we continue to stand tall as a leading voice for human rights and good governance, and are here to announce our next and continued attempts to keep the inquiry in France alive! Let us be clear that the ongoing inquiry is not and cannot be a SUARAM commitment alone.
Let us face these hurdles together, to free Malaysia from the clutches of corruption, once and for all.

Individual tickets are priced at RM 150 and RM500 and Tables are priced RM 1500 and RM 5000 each.
Online payments and pledges can be made out to SUARA INISIATIF SDN BHD MBB a/c no: 5122 9582 0324.

For further enquiries, contact [email protected] or contact SUARAM at 03 77843525/ Sarah +013-3470860

For further info and details you may visit Facebook
Twitter: suaramtweets