NGO group accuses Anwar of approving Scorpene deal

Ida Lim, The Malaysian Insider

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim approved Malaysia’s controversial purchase of Scorpene submarines when he was Finance Minister in 1995, a group of non-governmental organisations campaigning against Suaram’s role in pushing for investigations, said today.

French shipbuilding giant DCNS won the €1 billion contract in 2002, when Anwar was still serving a jail sentence for his 2000 sodomy conviction, but the group alleged today that he had approved it when he was Finance Minister in the 1990s.

“Why didn’t Suaram reveal that the Scorpene purchase was actually made by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim?” Dzulkarnain Taib, president of the Young Journalists Club, asked at a press conference today.

He alleged that the Scorpene issue was first discussed in Cabinet in 1991.

“In 1995, the then Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had approved the Scorpene purchase,” Dzulkarnain said.

He traced the chronology of the purchase of the two Scorpene submarines, saying that the deal was inked between the Malaysian government and French companies in 2002, while the vessels were handed over to Malaysia in 2010.

Several NGOs had on October 11 said Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) had misrepresented its status as a plaintiff to a French inquiry of the multi-billion Scorpene submarine deal.