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Lim urged govt to suspend the purchase of Eurocopters October 15, 2008

Posted by nikmj in General, malaysiakini, National, news.
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Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timur Lim Kit Siang has urged the government to suspend the purchase of Eurocopters for the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) in light of the controversy surrounding it.

The senior DAP leader attacked the government for not being transparent in awarding the contract. He noted that news reports said the government had set aside RM1.93 billion to buy an initial fleet of 12 helicopters, which are to be in service for the next 40 years.

He pointed out that the Eurocopter Cougar EC725 cost as much as RM1.256 billion and there were less extravagant options available. The Sikorsky helicopters cost RM1.145 billion and the Russian-made Kazan helicopters MI-172 cost much less at RM1.061 billion.

The Eurocopter model chosen was actually a modified and upgraded version of a 40-year-old helicopter, Lim noted while debating the 2009 Budget in the Dewan Rakyat today.

He said the government may as well have kept the Nuri helicopters the Eurocopter was meant to replace and just upgrade them with similar technical specifications.

“It will only cost a fraction of a new aircraft, especially taking into account the Sikorsky offer,” Lim said.

He claimed that representatives from Sikorsky had offered to buy the old Nuris in exchange for being awarded the contract.

Lim urged the government to follow the proper procurement ethics before making out the contract. He claimed that the government did not adhere to standard international practice when evaluating the aircraft.

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