Francisco de Goya – The French Penalty.

Our silence will consign us to perpetuating the suffering caused by the wrongs of our depraved leaders. France was the cradle of democracy and we are grateful to Bourdon’s readiness to face and endure dangers in a country that arrest and detain critics at will

The noose could be tightening on one of Malaysia’s greatest military procurement scandals, the US$1 billion purchase of French-built Scorpene submarines, commissioned by then-Defence Minister and current Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in 2002. Meanwhile, French lawyer William Bourdon is expected to reveal details on the submarine deal with French firm DCNS at the Malaysian civil rights group SUARAM dinner in Penang tonight. It will be anybody’s guess whether Umno’s Legalized Thugs’ the Royal Malaysian Police or their bona fide agents PERKASA, KIMMA, PEKIDA or Ghani Mamak and Gang would try to disrupt the SUARAM dinner function where Mr. Bourdon is due to speak.

The Scorpene submarine scandal is also linked to the brutal yet mysterious murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaaribuu who in turn is linked to Prime Minister Najib Razak. According to French Newspaper Liberation. The following is an excerpt of that article:

A November 19, 2006 report from the Malaysian police, which has been kept secret until now, reveals precise descriptions how this young woman, a member of Asian high society, was killed. In this document, one of the killers, a policeman of the Malaysian Special Branch named Sirul Omar, replied to questions by an officer at a police station close to the murder scene.

“When the Chinese woman saw that I had a gun, she begged me to spare her, saying she was pregnant. Azilah [Sirul’s commanding officer] grabbed her and threw her on the ground. I immediately shot the left side of her face. Then Azilah took off her clothes and put them in a black plastic bag. Azilah noticed that her hand was still moving. He ordered me to shoot again, which I did,” said Sirul. This is the first confirmation of Altantuya’s killers’ identity.”Then we carried her body into the woods. Azilah wrapped explosives around her legs, abdomen and head, and we blew her up.” In March 2005 Altantuya and Baginda went to Europe, touring France, Germany, Italy and Portugal, staying in plush hotels and dining in the finest restaurants.

This trip, however, was not only for pleasure: the contract for the sale of the submarines had been signed in 2002, but important details had yet to be settled. “We knew that Baginda was used by (then) Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak as an intermediary for weapons deals, especially the high-level ones,” says a regional security-affairs expert. At the end of March 2005 the couple was in Paris, where they met with Najib Razak. A picture shows the three in a Parisian club. “Tuya showed me the picture. She said that one of the men was her boyfriend, Abdul Razak Baginda, and the other the big boss, Najib Razak,” said Altantuya’s best friend Amy. “I asked her if they were brothers because of the names, but she said no, that Najib Razak was the prime minister.” Najib Razak has sworn on the Koran that he never met Altantuya. According to a private detective (Bala), now in hiding in India, Tuya was also the occasional mistress of the deputy prime minister, who was introduced to her by Baginda at the end of 2004.

In October 2006, Altantuya was informed that the commission paid by Armaris had arrived in the Kuala Lumpur bank account of Perimekar, a company owned by Baginda. Altantuya went to Kuala Lumpur to claim her share of the commission from Baginda; she said she was entitled to US$500,000 (Bt18 million). She and Baginda had already broken up prior to this. Meanwhile, a jealous Rosmah Mansor, the feared businesswoman and wife of Najib Razak, objected to any payment to Altantuya.
For several days, Altantuya harassed her ex-lover. On October 18, Baginda could no longer tolerate the daily scenes made by Altantuya in front of his house. He contacted the director of the Special Branch, Musa Safrie, who happened also to be Najib Razak’s aide de camp. On October 19, 2006, just before 9pm, two Special Branch officers, Azilah Hadridan and Sirul Omar, were sent to Baginda’s house, where Altantuya was gesticulating and shouting.

They were ordered to “neutralise the Chinese woman”. They kidnapped her, shot her several times, then destroyed her body with C4 explosives, which could only be obtained from the Defence Ministry. Altantuya’s entry into Malaysia was erased from immigration records. Somehow, the local police were tipped off that something odd had happened in front of Baginda’s house, and events unfolded that even Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak could not impede. He tried to cover up the case. Before the arrest of Baginda, [the deputy prime minister] sent him an SMS: “I will see the inspector-general of police at 11am today… The problem will be solved. Be cool”. A few hours later, Baginda was arrested along with Azilah and Sirul. After a trial considered dubious by many observers, Baginda was acquitted of having ordered the murder and was released in November 2008. Accused of having perpetrated the murder, Azilah and Sirul appeared in court last month. If convicted, their sentences will be death. The verdict is scheduled for April 9. As for Baginda, he has settled in the UK with his family. He has never uttered a word of regret on the fate of the woman who shared his life for two years.

The revelation of this report in the French newspaper Liberation is the latest chapter in this dramatic saga featuring French arms dealers, Mongolian shamans and Malaysian politicians.

The following is Courtesy of The Asian Sentinel

Joseph Breham, a member of a French legal team that filed complaints in a Paris court in connection with a potentially explosive scandal over the billion-dollar purchase of French submarines by Malaysia is due to land in Kuala Lumpur today (April 28) to seek further information on the case and to speak with their clients, the Malaysia human rights organization Suaram.

As Asia Sentinel has reported at length, the deal was engineered by then-Defense Minister Najib Tun Razak, now Malaysia’s Prime Minister, in 2002 and resulted in a massive €114 million (US$151.1 million at current exchange rates) commission for one of Najib’s closest associates, Abdul Razak Baginda. The purchase price included two Scorpene-class diesel submarines built by Armaris, a subsidiary of the French defense giant DCN (formerly Direction des Constructions Navales) and the lease of a third retired submarine manufactured by a joint venture between DCN and
Spanish company Agosta.

Breham, one of the three lawyers who filed the case with Parisian prosecutors on behalf of Suaram, told Asia Sentinel the French court has opened a preliminary investigation into the matter and that he would be advising his clients on the
next steps. Breham said he will also hold a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today to give some details to local reporters. Breham, Renaud Semerdjian and William Bourdon, the lead lawyer, filed the request to investigate bribery and kickback allegations against DCN first in December and filed additional documents in February.

The case has been making headlines in Malaysia – although few in the mainstream media, which are owned by the country’s leading political parties — since the gruesome October 2006 murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, a Mongolian translator and spurned lover of Razak Baginda who had accompanied him to France on some of the transactions over the submarines. Altantuya was shot in the head and her body was blown up with military explosives in a patch of jungle outside of Kuala Lumpur. Two of Najib’s bodyguards, who were directed to intercede with her by Musa Safri, Najib’s chief of staff, have been convicted of the killing. Neither Najib nor Musa has ever been questioned by law enforcement officials about the case.

Although records showed Najib was in France at the same time as Altantuya and Razak Baginda, he has repeatedly sworn to Allah that he had never known the beauteous Mongolian. One report filed by a private detective hired by Razak Baginda said she had been Najib’s lover first. After she was killed, authorities discovered a letter she had written saying she was blackmailing Razak Altantuya for US$500,000, although she did not say why.

In addition to the cost of the submarines and the whopping “commission” fee, it has now emerged that under the terms of the original contract, the vessels were basically bare of armaments and detection devices. The Malaysian military must
pay an additional €130 million to equip them.

“You mean we bought bare metal?” wrote one incredulous and anonymous military official in an email to Asia Sentinel.

The charges go well beyond the Malaysian purchase. Judges in the Paris Prosecution Office have been probing a wide range of corruption charges involving similar submarine sales and the possibility of bribery and kickbacks to top officials
in France, Pakistan and other countries. The Malaysian piece of the puzzle was added in two filings, on Dec. 4, 2009 and Feb. 23 this year.

French politicians seem to have a knack for backhanders. On October 26, in a trial that centered on illegal arms sales to Angola, Jean-Christophe Mitterrand, the son of the late president Francois Mitterand, was given a two-year suspended sentence and ordered to pay a €375,000 fine for receiving embezzled funds. The court ruled that he had accepted millions of euros in “consultant fees” on the arms deals between 1993 and 1998. In the dock with him were 42 people accused of selling weapons to Angola in defiance of a UN arms embargo, or of taking payments from the arms dealers and using their influence to facilitate the sales. The trial, it was said, shined a light into a murky world of secret payments made in cash and discreet deals linking Parisian high society with one of Africa’s longest-running wars. But it hasn’t shined a light on what happened elsewhere with contracts concluded by the representatives of France, and particularly by DCN.

For instance, 11 French engineers employed by DCN, which peddled subs to Pakistan, were blown up in a bus bombing in 2002 which was first thought to have been perpetrated by Islamic militants. The 11 were in Karachi to work on three
Agosta 90 B submarines that the Pakistani military had bought in 1994, with payment to be spread over a decade. According to Reuters, commissions were promised to middlemen including Pakistani and Saudi Arabian nationals. Agosta is a subsidiary of DCN. It is believed that Pakistani military officials blew up the bus in retaliation for the cancellation of the payments.

In the Taiwan case, the French company Thales, formerly Thompson-CSF sold six DCN-built La Fayette-class ‘stealth’ frigates to Taiwan in 1992 for US$2.8 billion. At least six people connected with the case have died under suspicious circumstances including a Taiwanese naval captain named Yin Ching-feng, who was believed to have been killed because he planned to go to the authorities about fraud connected with the case. His nephew, who was also pursuing the case, a Thomson employee in Taiwan and a French intelligence agent were also among the dead. It gradually emerged that some $600 million in commissions had been paid into various Swiss accounts set up by Andrew Wang Chuan-pu, the Taiwan agent for Thomson-CSF. In October 2008 a French judge finally ruled that no one could be prosecuted because of lack of evidence.

The Malaysian allegations revolve around the €114 million payment to a Malaysia-based company called Perimekar for support services surrounding the sale of the submarines. Perimekar was wholly owned by another company, KS Ombak Laut Sdn Bhd, which in turn was controlled by Najib’s best friend, Razak Baginda, whose wife Mazalinda, a lawyer and former magistrate, was the principal shareholder, according to the French lawyers.

In the complaints filed in Paris, the issue revolves around what, if anything, Razak Baginda’s Perimekar company did to deserve €114 million. Zainal Abidin, the deputy defense minister at the time of the sale, told parliament that Perimekar had received the amount – 11 percent of the sale price of the submarines – for “coordination and support services.” The Paris filing alleges that there were neither support nor services.

Perimekar was registered in 2001, a few months before the signing of the contracts for the sale, the Paris complaint states. The company, it said flatly, “did not have the financial resources to complete the contract.” A review of the accounts in 2001 and 2002, the complaint said, “makes it an obvious fact that this corporation had absolutely no capacity, or legal means or financial ability and/or expertise to support such a contract.”

“None of the directors and shareholders of Perimekar have the slightest experience in the construction, maintenance or submarine logistics,” the complaint adds. “Under the terms of the contract, €114 million were related to the different stages of construction of the submarines.” The apparent consideration, supposedly on the part of Perimekar, “would be per diem and Malaysian crews and accommodation costs during their training. There is therefore no link between billing steps and stages of completion of the consideration.”

PM Najib Razak and his government have not learned about reverse psychology. The more they practise the law of jungle, the further they will be alienated from the people.

Jesse: Deporting Bourdon merely demonstrates that the government fears what he is about to reveal. It would seem that there are lots of skeletons in the closet. This sort of action is the hallmark of a dictatorship no different from that of Burma.

Is Bourdon such a big threat to the government? If he was a Malaysian, presumably he would have been detained under the ISA on national security ground or more likely, a threat to Najib and his corrupt cohorts.

Lin Wenquan: This latest fiasco is certainly going to attract the international attention which Najib can ill-afford, given all the negative publicity his regime has drawn in recent days.

It raises more suspicion of his involvement in the whole affair – from the alleged kickbacks to the horrific way Altantuya Shaariibuu was disposed off. If indeed he is innocent to the extent of having sworn on the Holy Book, what is there for him to fear Bourdon’s presence here?

Is he a communist or Israeli or Christian agent out to ‘create havoc’ and hence a ‘threat to the national security and sovereignty’ as the MSM (mainstream media) will predictably wont to claim in the days ahead.

Najib certainly has a lot of explaining to do over this latest bungle.

Vijay47: The plot thickens and this obviously calls for Inspector Jacques Clouseau who in all probability will not be giving Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein a French kiss. Then again, he might.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, I think the police will lay two charges against Monsieur Bourdon – for waging war against the Agong and for not combing his hair.

‘Anyone who continues to trust the BN government and PDRM and thinks they will eventually reform is plain insane.’

Cops send Uncle Bersih to psychiatric ward

Acissej: If they can send Uncle Bersih (Hii Tiong Huat) to the psychiatric ward, why don’t they send Auntie Bersih as well. Is this the kind of absurd and ridiculous news that we want other nations to read about Malaysia?

“Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric” – Bertrand Russell.

Saengch: Governments can be this evil. In 1917, peaceful American women protestors who demanded voting rights for women were incarcerated in the prison’s psychiatric ward where no one was allowed to visit them, including lawyers and family members (except one visitor who smuggled out a letter about how they were treated).

When they went on hunger strike, they were force-fed raw eggs. See here and here.

Ben Hor: Now the drama really takes a new turn. This is new – sending someone to the psychiatric ward.

I think PM Najib Razak’s reign could be the next blockbuster hit with plenty of twists (Ibrahim Ali backing out of the rally at the last minute), characters (Rosmah Mansor, Hishammuddin Hussein, etc), surprises (Teoh Beng Hock’s RCI), cover-ups (Sarbani Ahmad’s death), murder (Altantuya Shaariibuu), sex (Anwar Ibrahim’s video), violence (Bersih 2.0), drama (William Bourdon’s deportation), and now mental illness (Uncle Bersih).

I think all of this would fit in a perfect trilogy.

Seno: Let’s hope the genuine patients in the ward will not push him into committing suicide.

Anonymous: In China, those who are against the government are deemed as psychotic and being kept in the psychiatric hospital. It looks like our government is adopting this insane practice.

Ootsky: Hii Tiong Huat should be released immediately. He seems very sane to me. In contrast, anyone who continues to trust the BN government and PDRM (Royal Malaysian Police) and thinks they will eventually reform is plain insane.

Barang Naik: Since the police send Uncle Hii to psychiatric ward, please send all of us there, and see whether the doctor can diagnose the spirit of democracy.

Anonymous: Deaths in custody, ‘suicides’ while under investigations, deportation, committed under psychiatric ward, what’s next?

Auntie Bersih ‘peeved’ by police’s indifference

Phang Thiam: Anne Ooi is a lady of immense courage and strength despite her frail body. To add to her call for PM Najib Razak to quit, in Japan, South Korea and most developed countries, the minister responsible would have stepped down voluntarily.

Straight-talk: I salute you, retired teacher Anne Ooi, for your courage to dress in yellow (risking arrest) and speak up against the many injustices of the ruling government. Last but not least, your timely advice to Najib to step down is indeed resounding and will be long remembered by ordinary Malaysians.

Josephine: Mr Prime Minister, whether you like it or not, Aunty Bersih is the silent majority of Malaysia.

Just imagine, a lady who is in her own comfort zone, once not knowing what is happening around her, not reading the news or engage in coffee shop gossip, but yet the injustices practised by your government had moved her to action.

This is but the tip of the iceberg. Aunty Bersih is the first of the many who will rise up to declare their stand against your cruel regime.

Ian2003: Dear Auntie, please don’t feel insulted for the non-arrest but be grateful that there are still a number of law enforcers with a heart, but like you in the past have to serve in silent and with protest.

Like it or not, due to these kind-hearted enforcers, there is minimal harm done to the rally goers. Please don’t get me wrong, I totally support Bersih and its gathering though I did not attend, but usually in any rally a lot of injury do happen especially in developing country.

Darth Vader: Senile old goat who seeks attention and want to provoke an arrest to create a martyr out of herself. I feel sorry for people like that – maybe her children should pay her a little more attention.

Fairplayer: We love you, Auntie Bersih Anne! Yes, all Bersih Malaysians must make speak up together with one loud voice.

MichaelCelo: In the next day or two, the PM – who cut short his “overseas holiday to be with the people” – will accuse Auntie Bersih of being manipulated by the opposition and “those with their own agenda” for political mileage.

It’ll be very interesting to see if they will up the ante and pick on a very courageous senior citizen and accuse her of being “unpatriotic”, what more an educator who has contributed to, and has all the experience of, a great education system we had in the past.

See how a 65-year old – educated in the schools system of the 60s-70s – can engage intelligently on issues of the day compared with unintelligent people like those in the cabinet.

Chikadee: I have nothing but respect for Anne, who is slightly older than I am.

Eric Koay: Was there any reason for Michelle Yeoh to be deported and blacklisted from Burma? Nope. There are unmistakable similarity between Burma and Malaysia.

“It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.” – Aung San Suu Kyi.

Not Confused: Full marks once again for an excellent job must go to this time to the Immigration DG (on behalf of the BN government, of course). They have now created another international incident that will focus even more on the misguided attempts of the corrupt leaders of this nation to silence their critics.

Their intention, no doubt, was to prevent Bourdon from speaking at the following two events and for enlightening some of the uninformed of what has been going on in the procurement of defence equipment over the past few years.

However, it creates yet another international critic of Malaysia and will have the opposite effect to what was intended. Poor fools, for they know not what they do. Just pity them for the time being – come the GE, they will get their just deserts.

Gerard Samuel Vijayan: This latest act by the desperate BN regime smacks of authoritarianism and gross abuse of executive powers.

It confirms: (a) that Najib is deeply involved in the Scorpene submarine scandal that led to the death of Altantuya; and (b) the power struggle in Umno has already started otherwise the PM would not rush home from Europe and order the deportation.

Bourdon was already in the country since earlier this week and the government had full knowledge about the purpose of his trip and yet the Immigration Department did not refuse him entry into Malaysia. This must have been done with the full knowledge and backing of some senior leaders in the government.

But the moment Najib rushed home, the French lawyer was deported. Tomorrow, the Immigration will explain that Bourdon had violated the terms of his social visit pass that does not allow any engagement in public forums unless you have a business or professional pass or some other category of pass. The usual lies.

Clearwater: Bourdon has Najib ‘shitting’ French-made submarine-sized bricks. That’s why he was being deported. But the news is already out. I can hardly wait for the DCNS corruption trial to begin so that more details are disclosed.

AJ: This probe will fall short of touching Najib. There are strong rumours that Malaysia has indicated its interested in buying the Rafael Jet Fighters from Dassault Aviation and will do preliminary visitations and viability studies just before the beginning of this court case.

So do you think the French government is going to risk the deal by exposing Najib?

MatrixLYN: Bourdon mentioned previously he has been threatened with deportation in his work all these years, but these countries never really went through with it. I guess Malaysia helped him break his record. Malaysia Boleh!

Im Joshua: The desperate ‘need’ to stop Bourdon implies by its very action that someone is hiding something embarrassing that they don’t want the common citizens to know.
Even if they prevent us access to the truth, their very action tells us something. People who love darkness hate the light. We may be able to deceive many Malaysians most of the times but are we to expect the same of people from other countries?

May the truth surface quickly for all to behold and the children of darkness be in dungeons hold.

Sarawakian_3ff9: Thank you, Mr Bourdon and your organisation, Sherpa. Without your help, Malaysians would not have the chance to find out the massive corruption that our elected leaders had stolen from us.

As for poor Altantuya, she will eventually see justice done and the perpetrators who murdered her face justice. Malaysia waits with bated breath.

Joker: Someone must have been sleeping at the immigration counter when Bourdon first arrived in the country.

Now the Immigration Department (which has already somehow lost Altantuya’s immigration records) is providing yet more ammunition for the world to laugh at Malaysia.

You can check into Malaysia but you can’t just simply check out.

Tkc: After Bersih, you would think that they have learnt a lesson. But no, they have decided to score another own goal. Knock knock, anyone home?


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