Submarine Furor Returns to Malaysia 

Good news, Jasbir says it wasn’t me 

Chahl’s credibility has been damaged further by the fact that he was ousted from Perimekar early on in the negotiations himself. In several memos found during the DCN investigation, Chahl demanded a full fourth of Perimekar’s total €114.96 million as a finder’s fee. 

John Berthelsen, Asia Sentinel

Central figure in bribe case seeks to paint company at center of the scandal as legitimate

A central figure in the massive bribery case of Malaysian officials for the purchase of submarines from a subsidiary of the French defense contractor DCN has caused a furor in Malaysia with an exclusive interview with the Kuala Lumpur-based political party broadsheet New Straits Times.

In the interview, Jasbir Singh Chahl told the newspaper, which is owned by the United Malays National Organization, the country’s biggest political party, that the murdered Mongolian party girl and translator Altantuya Shaariibuu had never acted as a translator in the affair. He also said Perimekar Sdn Bhd., then a wholly owned subsidiary of a company owned by one of then-Defense Minister Najib Tun Razak’s best friends, actually had done legitimate work to earn a €114.96 “commission” that has been characterized as a bribe by French officials.

In the wake of Chahl’s remarks, Home Minister Zahid Hamidi has threatened the leaders of Suaram, the human rights NGO that took allegations of the affair to French authorities, with sedition. The Registrar of Societies has also threatened to take away Suaram’s certification as an NGO.

No one outside of the New Straits Times, the UMNO mouthpiece, has been allowed to interview Jasbir Singh Chahl. If neutral journalists had been allowed, they could have brought up the 135 French documents that question Perimekar’s role in the purchase, and prove that Altantuya had visited Paris in the company of Perimekar’s boss, Abdul Razak Baginda. They could also have brought up a mysterious payment of €36 million from a DCN offshoot to Terasasi (Hong Kong) Ltd, a mysterious company whose only directors are Razak Baginda and his father.

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