The Umno Youth chief says that conclusions and parliamentary motions should not arise in the absence of concrete proof but PKR's vice-president begs to differ.
PETALING JAYA: There is no concrete proof to substantiate the latest allegation regarding the Scorpene submarine deal and so it will be premature to table an emergency motion in Parliament, said Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.
The Rembau MP was responding to PKR vice-president and Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar who revealed yesterday that she will push for a debate in Parliament over the matter when the House re-convenes on June 11.
“So far there is no concrete proof. Just the word of a lawyer who has been engaged by Suaram [the human rights movement which filed for a French judicial inquest into the deal],” Khairy told FMT.
The Umno Youth chief also said that Suaram’s “political affiliations were well-known”, implying that it is working in the interest of the opposition.
“Without concrete proof of this so-called document, it’s premature for anyone to jump to any conclusions let alone plan to move a parliamentary motion,” he added.
Suaram has claimed that a highly-confidential government document – an evaluation by the Malaysian navy of the Scorpene-class submarine and contract details – was allegedly sold to a French defence company for 36 million euros (RM142 million).
Suaram said the secret document was sold by Terasasi (Hong Kong) Ltd to French defence giant DCNS, ostensibly for “commercial engineering” works.
This was among the major issues that the French judge probing the case lodged by Suaram against Paris-owned shipmaker DCNS for alleged corruption, was looking at.
Apart from corruption, the Scorpene deal, which involved a company belonging to defence analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, a close confidant of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, had also been mired in allegations of sex and linked to the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.
Razak Baginda was charged with abetting the murder and later discharged but the controversy continues to be a sore point for Najib and remains a potent weapon in the opposition’s arsenal against him.
Nurul returns fire
Meanwhile, Nurul torpedoed Khairy over his comments, saying that if he is confident that no secrets were sold, then he should support her emergency motion.
“We are talking about an ongoing investigation by the French courts. Since the prime minister has continued to keep his silence, our demands should propel him to issue a statement to reassure the public that there was no national security breach.
“The prime minister’s continued silence on this matter while non-Cabinet members make superficial remarks is mind-boggling, to say the least” she told FMT.
The PKR leader said the public deserved an immediate and full response due to the seriousness of the allegation.
In her parting shot, she added: “I should thank Khairy for keeping the submarine issue at the centre of public attention, that’s what backbenchers are for.”