DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang said there should be an investigation into whether the RM9 billion littoral combat ship (LCS) scandal is linked to the older Scorpene controversy and the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.
In relation to this, Lim pointed to the two former police personnel who were convicted of Altantuya’s murder and given the death sentence.
“The duo, Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar, who had been convicted of Altantuya’s murder after a 159-day trial and were sentenced to death, should have their death penalty commuted to life imprisonment in exchange for their confession as to who had instructed them to murder Altantuya,” Lim said in a statement today.
This comes after two separate audits on Putrajaya’s procurement of the LCS reportedly revealed that there may have been a deal between the main contractor and shipbuilder DCNS before the government issued its contract.
This was based on a quotation issued by DCNS to Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) dated Dec 23, 2010, one year before the government awarded the LCS contract to BNS.
DCNS, now known as the Naval group, is a French-based company that developed the Gowind design for navy vessels, which was the design approved by then defence minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi despite objection from the navy as the LCS’ intended user.
It is also the same company that was key in Putrajaya’s controversial purchase of two Scorpene-class submarines in 2002.
According to an audit commissioned by Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation (BHIC), the quotation issued by DCNS was “unusual” and indicated that the deal was “predetermined” between the vendor and “certain vested persons at BHIC/BNS who were at the helm of the decision-making process”.
A similar finding was also pointed out in an audit report prepared by the committee on Procurement, Governance and Finance chaired by former auditor-general Ambrin Buang.
Convicts maintain innocence
Altantuya was murdered on Oct 18, 2006. When Sirul and Azilah were tried for the murder, it was revealed that Altantuya was in an affair with Abdul Razak Baginda, the owner of several companies involved in the Scorpene submarine deal.
Sirul and Azilah were both convicted in 2009 but freed by the Court of Appeal in 2013. Upon being freed, Sirul fled to Australia, where he is currently under detention.
Following this, the Federal Court overturned the appeal and reinstated the conviction, which carries the death sentence.
Since the Federal Court case has concluded, both Sirul and Azilah continued to maintain their innocence.
Azilah attempted to seek a review of the Federal Court decision in 2019. In his statutory declaration, Azilah claimed he was given a “shoot-to-kill order” by then deputy prime minister Najib Abdul Razak on the grounds that Altantuya was a foreign spy.
Azilah’s application for the review was unsuccessful. – Malaysiakini