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RM6 bil boats: ‘Report me’ Zahid tells Pua

 | March 21, 2011

Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and DAP parliamentarian Tony Pua traded barbs over the alleged misappropriation of defence procurements.

KUALA LUMPUR: Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has challenged DAP to report him to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) if the latter had evidence of misappropration involving defence procurement.

“Take me to court if you have evidence. Do not use your blog and press conferences to attack me,” an irate Zahid hit out at Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua.

Last year, Pua highlighted that the Defence Ministry was procuring six units of offshore patrol boats for RM6 billion from Boustead Naval Shipyard.

The DAP leader added that based on his cursory checks, the Royal New Zealand Navy had bought the same boats for RM210 million each.

Earlier, Pua questioned Zahid for calling him a Singaporean agent and that led to the issue of the defence procurement.

On March 18, Zahid called Pua a “Singapore agent’ in a Malay daily and claimed the latter was arrested in Singapore once. Pua denied these allegations

In return, Zahid said it was not proper for Pua to question the military strategy and on how it will use its defence procurement as it will put national security at stake.

At this juncture, Seri Gading MP Mohamed Aziz stood in support of Zahid and said the opposition was trying to politicise the military and called upon Zahid to ignore Pua.

At this point, Pua retorted by saying he was not questioning defense strategy but merely defense procurement which he claimed was exorbitant.

“There is nothing secret about how much funds was used to procure military equipments such as weapons, submarines, ammunition and other military hardware.

“Even developed nations provide these details to the public,” said Pua.

That led to both MP trading verbals barbs until Speaker Amin Mulia intervened.

“Let me decide what is secret and not secret here.

“However, I urge Pua to lodge a report with the authorities if he suspects any misappropration in the procurement,” he said.


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