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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Defence ministry's multi-billion deal involving Sapura questioned


Aug 19: Parti Keadilan Rakyat today questioned a deal between the Defence ministry and private telecomunication firm Sapura Secured Technologies worth billions of ringgit to improve the armed forces' NCO programme, saying a similar system was already in place.

PKR communication director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the NCO programme, meant to integrate applications, control systems as well as weaponry would cost RM2 billion in the course of several years.

“We understand that ATM already has a similar system in place developed a few years back. Furthermore, the project had drawn flak from the entire ATM officers themselves, and their concern has been ignored by those who instructed the project to be continued," he stated.

Adding to the worry is the fact that the contract was being negotiated directly with Sapura, said Nik Nazmi, who added that Sapura did not possess the technical expertise to implement the project.

“Their ability to fulfill this project should rightly be questioned,” he said.

He said until a full inquiry is established to determine the need for a new system, any such negotiation with Sapura should be stopped.

“If the NCO programme is proven as a necessity for ATM, the Defence Ministry must choose the most qualified party to implement the project through open tender,” said Nik Nazmi.

Sapura Secured Technologies, an amalgamation of six Sapura subsidiaries which includes Sapura Defence, Sapura Research, Sapura-LTAT Communications Technologies, Sapura Transmission, Sapura Advanced Systems and Sapura Thales Electronics, is headed by Rodzlan Akib Abu Bakar.

In 2007, the company denied that it was in discussion to supply 3,000 surveillance cameras to the government in a contract said to be worth RM1 billion.

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