RM7.55 bil armoured carriers: DAP goes ballistic

The government will pay RM7.55-billion for 257 APCs, four times more than an originally intended deal made earlier this year.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Under a new agreement, the government will pay RM7.55 billion for 257 armored personnel carriers (APCs), four times more for the same deal made earlier this year.

However, the government claims to have no knowledge of the February deal for 257 Turkish Pars 8×8 APCs, which at the time, cost US$559 million (RM1.749 billion).

This irked DAP’s PJ Utara MP Tony Pua, who launched an attack on the government.

“Minister of Defence Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was there to witness the signing between (Turkish company) FNSS and (Malaysian company) Deftech,” he said.

Speaking to reporters in Parliament, he said the difference in price is so big that a responsible government must ask, “What are the differences that make up the gap (between the two prices)?”

On Oct 18, Pua asked the defence minister in Parliament why the government was willing to spend RM7.8 billion for the 257 APCs.

In a written response, Zahid replied: “The finalised price for the procurement of 257 APCs is RM7.55 billion for a period of seven years from 2011 to 2018, and not RM7.8 billion as said.”

“The Defence Ministry has no information over the 257 APCs by Deftech… with Turkey’s FNSS for the price of US$559 million. Therefore, the question is out of the ministry’s knowledge.”

According to a Jun 3 BAE Systems news release, military equipment manufacturer FNSS signed a US$559-million letter of offer and acceptance from Deftech Sdn Bhd for the design, development and building of the 257 APCs.