RM300 mil helicopter deal ‘part of Mindef probe’

PETALING JAYA: Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu has cautioned against speculation about a RM300 million deal in 2016 for the purchase of six military helicopters, which have yet to be delivered.

In a statement, Mohamad said any speculation could jeopardise investigations into the matter.

A special investigation committee on procurement, governance, and finance, headed by former Auditor-General Ambrin Buang was still investigating various matters and the findings would be presented to the Cabinet before reports are lodged with the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission and police.

Earlier today, FMT had reported that six MD 530G helicopters had been ordered by the previous government but had yet to be delivered.

In 2016, Malaysia was reported to have become the launch customer of the MD 530G model of light scout helicopters, a new generation introduced by MD Helicopters of the US.

The helicopters were meant for use by the Malaysian Army.

FMT understands that the deal was made by a local company with a strong relationship with a government employee and which had been appointed as the agent of MD Helicopters in Malaysia. The defence minister at the time was Hishammuddin Hussein.

The proposal was subsequently submitted to the prime minister and finance minister, Najib Razak, for approval in November 2016 but Mindef was unaware that the company had lost its rights as the agent for MD Helicopters.

The helicopters were to be delivered in two batches with the second batch scheduled to arrive by last year.