Thursday, July 05, 2012

Debunking Scorpene Scandal Part III: Questioning Defense Spending

Since the exposề last week that Altantuya never went to France and the true status of the investigating court in France, the SUARAM side went on overdrive to defuse and repel one attack after another.

Before that they were taken aback by the simple rebutals from the pro-Government side questioning the logic of their allegations and some revelation of court procedures. Slowly but surely, pro-Government side is raking in the table but still keeping their trump cards close.

There has not been any new allegations from SUARAM. They realised that some segment of the public will begin to demand proof and no more stories and speculation or mere raising of doubt and suspicion.

This Part will expose the way they play their propaganda. It doesn’t matter if a snitch within the pro-UMNO bloggers side is working for the opposition, particularly Tian Chua to sabotage our clarification effort.

The chap, going around making dubious claim within the UMNO circle as being part of an intelligence outfit, is only heavy on rhetorics but factually deficient. 

Perception Play

Seemingly doctored pictures used to claim Najib had dinner with Altantuya and Razak in Paris in 2000. Immigration record of Mongolian, Shaariybuu Bayasgalan was claimed by SUARAM as Altantuya.
With the new development, SUARAM will not want to be seen as worried.

They will claim that it is the Government side that is worried of the ghost of Altantuya returning to haunt Dato Najib and Razak.And they will convince their followers that it is the Government that is under pressure should the French court find something on the €114 million paid to Perimekar.

Off course, the dumb ones will not bother to ponder for a second that nothing is erupting within the near future. The French court will conclude investigation and decide on charges (or not) in 2-3 years time and not within the next 1-2 months..

Their spinning that election is delayed for fear of the Scorpene issue is about to erupt. It is an open secret that the Selangor Pakatan Government is in fear of losing thus, will not dissolve the State Assembly together with Parliament. Najib wants the federal and state election to run concurrently for many tactical reasons.

The ignorant followers do not know that. And SUARAM is aware of what is written in part 1 (here) and Part II (here) has much truth but will spin to ensure it does not dampen their fund raising effort.SUARAM Sendirian Berhad not made money from this venture

For a fact, the Government is not worried but confident there is nothing to worry about. Few actually realised Defense Minister Dato Zahid Hamidi mentioned in Parliament below: 
2) samada Kerajaan Malaysia akan memohon untuk menjadi wakil pemerhati di Mahkamah 'Tribunal de Grande Istance' Perancis untuk mendapat akses kertas pembuktian yang dirujuk oleh SUARAM;

Kerajaan Malaysia difahamkan TIADA PERBICARAAN berlangsung di Perancis berhubung isu kapal selam Scorpene. Justeru, TIDAK TIMBUL soal Kerajaan akan memohon menjadi pemerhati.
The Government is confident enough not to attend court as observer. 

However, any ruling Government should have some sense of paranoia when voters buy-in into the lies and deception perpetuated by SUARAM and PKR in the past 5 years on the Altantuya death and submarine corruption issue.

Alas, the Government have only themselves to blame for  allowing opposition to prolong the propaganda that long. By the look of it, SUARAM strategy is to prolong it till the next 14th General Election.

Tactical Change

Cat got Tian Chua's tongue. Taken from The Unspinners here
SUARAM have changed tactics from offensive to guerilla warfare but maintaining an offensive strategy.

True to their defensive and counter attack gameplan, they kept mum when asked by Malaysian Digest for an answer to issue on their funding raised by Dato Zahrain Hashim and their registration as company but claiming to be an NGO as raised by Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM). [Read here.]

They played victim and shouted, “Wolf!’ when Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) raided them yesterday. Tease them when their search warrant was defective. Demanded investigation on others but not them.

SUARAM counterattacked by spinning that the raid was to find out what they know despite the fact that all the 153 documents gathered by police are already public. Ignoring the French court’s term of reference, they claim the Government side is in a frenzy to delink Altantuya’s death with the corruption allegation. [Read Malaysian Chronicle here.]

Smart strategist these weasels are. But don’t think their strategy of lies and deceptionis not known.

SUARAM should be worried when CCM raided their premise. They are not an NGO despite claiming to be non-profit organisation.

Raising fund from the public is a no no. Many may have forgotten or not know of the co-op scandal of the '80s. Since then, any complain of get rich schemes or any public fund raising without license or permit will be raided immediately. [Read Hantu Laut here.]

Reviving Issue

George Soros with Tian Chua
Dato Najib had just entered office on April 3rd, 2009.

In the same year, SUARAM entered into the game with a well planned offensive propaganda strategy.

According to Raja Petra, which was quoted in Part 1 here, the game currently being played by SUARAM came about as follows:
The idea to initiate a campaign to keep the Scorpene submarines issue alive until the 13th General Election was mooted by R. Sivarasa and Tian Chua some time back in 2009. Sivarasa and Tian Chua discussed the matter with Anwar Ibrahim who decided that Suaram would be the best vehicle to use to initiate the action.
SUARAM is internationally linked to other human right organisations.

Messr. William Bourdon
One possibility is that one of SUARAM's contributor George Soros, through Open Society Foundation (OSF) may have matched them with the French human rights lawyer, William Bourdon through another of their donation recepient, Tides Foundation.

William Bourdon was working with a project, Sherpa with donors coming from Tides Foundation and OSF.

All these organisations is inextricably linked to National Democratic Initiatives (NDI), supposedly an organisation that is carrying out CIA's former covert operation but openly, using democratic and human rights initiatives.

At the same time, the idea to bring to the French Court could have came about in the course of Dr Kua Kia Soong's research on Malaysia's military spending. Dr Kua is one of the two Directors of Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd or SUARAM and former DAP MP for Petaling Jaya Utara.

He may have stumbled on the unique position of Investigating Judge in the France's judicial system when researching on DCN, the state-owned submarine manufacturer. DCN was implicated in cases of kickbacks for military deal involving Angola, Taiwan and Pakistan.

There was stories of crooked politicians, campaign fund, kickback and death. It was enough material to spin stories and linked it with possibilities of corruption involving the Malaysian purchase which was already linked and sensationalised by Altantuya’s death.

Upon meeting William Bourdon and getting Anwar Ibrahim's blessing and perhaps funding too, SUARAM begin to make their move.

Asia Sentinel, a Hong Kong based portal, published the first such article in an attempt to link scandals involving DCN with Malaysia's submarine purchase entitled  “Cherchez The French” on November 18th, 2009.It was preparing the ground.

Quitely on the legal front, SUARAM’s initiated move to the French court, Extract from their website here:
On 23 December 2009, SUARAM through our networks in France linked up with leading human rights lawyers in France, to file a complaint with the French judicial system, with the hope that a preliminary investigation would be initiated. This was done to enable access to information, to the government contracts signed with PERIMEKAR and other information classified as government secrets in Malaysia.
Anything on Altantuya’s death? An emphatic NO!

By design, Asia Sentinel was to follow the issue and provide the details for others. Prior to April 2010, there was nothing much written on the Malaysian submarine purchase in the Asia Sentinel. That was until  SUARAM announced:
In April 2010, the lawyers representing SUARAM, informed us that the courts had accepted the request to investigate the claim of corruption for a payment amounting to Euro 114 million made as commissions from DCNS to Perimekar. At this stage the investigations are still ongoing, and it may take a few more months, for the findings to be made known, and for the investigators to announce a decision as to whether there is sufficient evidence to pursue a full trial at the next level of the courts.
Apa lagi, ini sudah berita sensasi!

Media Strategy

Asia Sentinel fired the first salvo with an article, Malaysia's Submarine Scandal Surfaces in France. That month they rewrite the same information twice and churned 10 articles in 2010. The rest was an attempt at history up till today's exposes.

The media strategy of the propoganda was to use Asia Sentinel as the leading media and the cue will be from it's detailed article and complete with background information.

Subsequently, the story is drummed up and given it’s own twist (sometimes several twists) by Tian Chua’s Malaysia Chronicle, Malaysia Today, Soh Chee Wen and Zaid Ibrahim’s Free Malaysia Today, Tony Pua-claimed Pakatan Rakyat’s media, Malaysiakini and Kalimullah’s, The Malaysian Insiders.

Through their public statement, Parliamentary antics and ceramah, politicians keep the issue alive till the next development. They too take the cue from Asia Sentinel.

Aasil Kazi Ahmad
Asia Sentinel has similar covert role on Malaysia with Dow Jones’s former publication, Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER). Their local partner is Malaysiakini.

The author on most of the articles on the alleged Scorpene scandal is by former FEER reporter and Asia Sentinel’s Editor, John Bethelson. Anwar Ibrahim’s man for international media relation, Aasil Kazi Ahmad used to write for Asia Sentinel.

Strangely, despite Aasil's links, the alleged Scorpene scandal never got much attention from the major international media and TV network.

Arnaud Dubus
The left wing French newspaper La Liberation did try to break a story on March 5, 2009. It was written by gay writer, Arnold Dubus. [Read loony blogger, Susan Loone who wrote overextensively on Altantuya to the pont of fabricating stories here.]

Other than Dubus, the last La Liberation report on Malaisie scandale Scorpène sous-marin was in 2010. The French media lost interest.

The likelihood was that there wasn’t much of a story to work on.

The foreign media familiar with the French court would wait out till there is confirmation of a case. Probably, there is usually not much event because the French court's focus is on kickbacks given on French soil and involves French citizen.

One only need to search in Asia Sentinel for articles on Malaysian Scorpene scandal and it will show there was not much story on the submarine but mere speculation prior to 2009.There is insufficient new development to keep the issue alive but only churning the same material.

As late as April 2012, one French reporter was trying to reach a close friend of Perimekar’s former Project Manager, late submariner Mustafa Dapat, to look for a story. Obviously they need a death to put aside the illogical spin that Altantuya's death was linked to the Scorpene purchase.


Another part of the scheme was Dr Kua’s book. It was launched in Malaysia on December 11th, 2010 and December 14th in London for safe measures. In the book, he questioned Malaysia’s spending on defense and that was the ground preparation for the propaganda.

This was the time issues after issues on defense came up. Remember the missing F5E engine? Remember submarine that didn't dive? Remember LCS raised bt Tony Pua? It was the time Tian Chua kept poking on Zahid at every opening day of a new of Parliamentary session.

Dr Kua's infamous attention grabber was to call Perimekar as just a travel agency. He did not know better, even now. Read Malaysiakini here.

Dr Kua's whole idea was to cast a bad light on our defense and at the same time, the military as an institution. He claimed we were spending too much on defense instead of other things.

One of Dr Kua's claim was Malaysia is spending on arms at 5% GDP as opposed to Ireland’s 2-3%. Is it right? Why Ireland? Why not Israel or Singapore as example?

Strangely, Dr Kua is not worried with Singapore's arms build-up. He probably do not feel threatened.

He claimed defense spending was bloated and purchases was over priced.

All this was leaning towards the message that the price of the submarine was exorbitant and there was corruption in the submarine purchase.

The cost of the submarine needed for additional spending for maintenance, armament, etc. That was used to decieve the public that Perimakar's consultation fee for training and logistic was kickback.

Questioning and openly talking of defense issue in public is like exposing our country’s secret and Bigdogdotcom described it as treacherous in his comment here.

Using material in his book, Dr Kua went on a roadshow to raise money for their legal effort in France and make public aware. We believe there is a You Tube video of his whole speech in Penang.

To sensationalise and attract a bigger crowd for the roadshow, they wanted to bring William Bourdon in July last year but was foiled by immigration. He came in for politics and not leisure as stated in his entry visa.

Flawed Analysis 

Our late sifu, a sociologist and a left winger himself, described works by the likes of Dr Kua Kia Soong, Dr Farish Noor, and many left wingers academia have no academic value. Most of their work are merely justifying pre-conceived belief and prejudices. There is hardly fair and critical look into all possible existing material and work.

In his book on May 13, Dr Kua did not refer to any of the official material in the Operations Council papers but based mostly on foreign materials and books of certain leaning.

Bigdog extracted Dzirhan Mahadzir, a leading Defense Analyst who teaches at the Armed Forces College and writes for Jane’s Defense Weekly, review of Dr Kua’s work, below:
Now I have no problem with defence spending being scrutinized or criticised, but my problem is when the matter becomes politicised, distorted and used by people to fulfill their own agendas or when people doing such don’t know what they are talking about or when they deliberately used racial issues which is the entire problem with Dr. Kua’s book.

The first flaw in the book is the manner of citations used, there’s an inconsistancy in Dr. Kua’s approach, he gives name credits to articles by writers like my old boss Bob Karniol, who recruited me into Janes and a few others but the numerous times he cites articles in Janes and Defence Review Asia (mostly mine) and the mainstream media articles in NST, Star and others, he can’t see fit to name the authors and title of the articles. Now the reason for this is important as knowing who wrote the article, so we can judge the accuracy and quality as not all writers are the same, and the context of the quotation based on the article title. The other problem is just on a personal basis as Dr Kua quotes my JDW focus on the Malaysian Armed Forces several times but it doesn’t rate a mention in the selected articles list in the bibliography, wherelse articles he quotes once or twice does which again falls foul of normal conventions in such, like I said I get no credit.

The other flaw in the book is that in all honest sense, the supposedly well researched book has no original information, as pointed by both Marhalim and Azra, all the book does is quote materials published publicly, even then Dr. Kua doesn’t bother finding out additional information or digging out new information. The so called expose is a lie as nothing contained in the book hasn’t been talked about. Furthermore if it really is to be an expose, why did Dr. Kua not find people willing to talk, even anonymously about the alledged wrongdoings etc. If the publishers and writer had been honest enough to state that the book simply was based on open sources and a compilation, I’d have been less critical but as it is…..
Read on in this Military analysis blog here.

Ill-informed Opinion

Malaysian Ministry of Defense

Many Malaysian including Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, whose long been looking for an opening as a Third Force candidate for Prime Minister, claimed during his opening of AMANAH in Sabah last month that the submarine purchase is not necessary because Malaysia is peaceful.

Most sceptics of the defense spending suffer from simplistic conclusion. Most apply wrong set of discipline to defense analysis and spending. Off course there is the politically motivated arguments.

Quite sure none is aware of China's millitary game and structure. Some may have some knowledge of China's action in the Spratley Islands. Few are aware of the Scarborough schoal issue recently. Many may have forgotten of the Abu Sayap and MILF incident in Sabah many years ago.

The defense strategist information and logic differs vastly. Apart from security issues, there are international relations, strategic territorial issues, economics issue, free economic zone, technological capability, military doctorine, and other considerations. It is important to get the right information.

Military buff Bigdog wrote on this year's DSA millitary exhibition in here, below:
The current Defense Services Asia DSA 2012 exhibition and series of forums being held at PWTC is a good platform for military industrialists and practitioners to get together and exchange notes on the current technology and what is to come. This year’s DSA is the largest so far since the first in 1986. The heavy presence of government agencies attending very much proven the Federal Government commitment in the defense of the realm.

Altogether, 826 companies, representatives and agencies of global military industry participated in the four days event. The DSA 2o12 also featured discourses and talks such as the Putrajaya Forum, on top of the usual product and services exhibition and demonstrations.

This is a good opportunity for all interested quarters, which include the Opposition to gather information.
Bigdog wrote on:
PKR representatives never responded to MINDEF’s invitation, as far earlier as the arrival of KD Tun Razak on July 2010. And yet, with the minimal or limited information they have, they often choose to spin on military acquisition such as the submarines, with a malice political connotation.

This is not the responsible thing to do as politicians. They should learn to be constructive Opposition and help the nation to go forward. Instead, they tend to use information they can their hands on to spin, manipulate and perpetuate lies, in their sordid agenda of ‘politics of hatred’ to get into power.
SUARAM was expected to come to make their presence to the DSA 2012 on Aptil19th. Did they come and engage like all these civil societies like to claim to do?

No, their plan was to do a demonstration.  But they chicken out?

Simply because they have dead set closed their mind to any answer from the defense establishment. One can bet that Dr Kua did not interview any high official in the millitary or Ministry for his book.


The submarine is not a luxury and the men that have to operate the submarine are making big sacrifice for the defense of the realm. Another extract taken from Bigdog here, below:
This is sacrifice the submariners made, who volunteered for this job. They do this job with pride and dedication, and they sacrifice their lives and comfort for the nation. Imagine part of their training is to be in France for a good five and a half years, away from family and friends.

Life is the submarine isn’t really easy. They work all time. At any one moment, at least eight men would be on watch. All systems must be in full working order and their sensitivity and awareness of their surroundings is a critical factor whenever they are at sea. It is much more complex than flying. Whenever they are on the surface, they have to abide international maritime laws. The fact that these submarines are able to dive to depths below 1,000 feet and even brought His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong Tuanku Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Almarhum Sultan Mahmood for such feat (on 10 March 2011), means that the crew must be very focused in their job to maintain safety and operationalbility.

It took eight days for the officers and men of KD Tun Razak to sail from their home at Sepanggar Bay to Langkawi of a distance of almost 1,300 nautical miles, where they did diving drills in some parts of the journey. Imagine, both ports are within Malaysia. That would be just part of the navy’s theatre of operation.
Understanding and appreciating the sacrifice and the need to keep their morale high of these submariners was the reason to defend the submarine project. More so, with some information and knowledge on the subject.

In the words of socialist Dr Kua, arms and defense spending is to perpetuate the ruling class. It is an extension of his belief in the outdated and narrow struggle socialist theory. It is not relevent for multiracial Malaysia with high percentage of immigrant population. Furthermore, local social scientist see the Malay has an established social system back when Europe was still in the dark ages and practising the Manor sysytem.

Rhetorical idea is not sufficient to judge the needs of our defense and the looming threat that is not within his grasp.Defense of the realm is based on practical issues.


One can never expect when war or other security issue will occur. Seldom a nation is ever in time for war or crisis unless they prepare. Read Bigdog’s explanation on the need for submarine:
As a maritime nation, the vastness of body of water around and between Semenanjung and Sabah and Sarawak warrants for the nation to have a formidable navy. The responsibility to protecting our sovereign right in the waters and one of the most busiest commercial waterways in the world, is multiplied. That is on top of the exclusive economic zone where 20% of the economy is dependent on it.

It is very expensive for the Government to maintain a large navy, for the workload requirement to protect all these areas. The decision to acquire the two submarines in June 2002 was strategic in nature, even though it was said to be costing RM 3.4 billion at that time. Any invading naval force would do their evaluation on the strength and capability of their enemy before they launch the strike and engage their adversaries in the sea. The two submarines provide our navy with a ‘multiplier factor’ equivalent of 10 surface ships, for any adversaries considering into direct sea battle engagement.

Each of the submarines could be armed either 18 Italian-French made Whitehead Allenia Blackshark torpedoes or 18 MBDA SM 39 Exocet missiles or any 18 combination of both. On 26 July 2010, KD Tunku Abdul Rahman did a successful live firing of the Exocet missile from the depth of 180 feet.

The acquisition and operation of the two submarines placed the RMN at another level, as compared to other navies around the region.
After Lim Guan Eng joined the submarine for a dive in 2011 LIMA, he saw the strategic need of submarine. But why is Pakatan is still at it?

Reason is simple.

Anwar wanted the submarine issue badly to hit at Najib. He does not have any personal issue to bring Najib. If he had any, it is not as current as the onslaught he is facing up to.

He knew there was a huge ammunition building up to spin and sensationalise the submarine issue. Questioning defense spending was just the prequel.

When he heard of those honest confirmation and complimentary words from Guan Eng, he was furious. He can't ridicule the submarine as a joke. It was frustrating because he had Nurul Izzah went at length till Indonesia to infuriate the defense establishment.

Without any outside interference and as a first response, Guan Eng was for once expressing the truth  Spending RM7 billion for the value of RM70billion. Even a Chinaman from Batu Pahat heading a Government in Penang and getting his forehead plastered can understand that.

More on the lies and deception next.


Anonymous said...

Haji, theres nothing new about DAP/PR strategy. One need not look further than the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) Propaganda playbook. Bear with me as I try to explain in as brief as possible .

The functions of CPM propaganda were dual: first, it served an external function to reach out to the general population to recruit new members for the Min Yuen as well as its armed terrorist; second, it served an internal function to maintain morale within the party.

The fact that propaganda material was produced, was in itself a show of strength and support that it has to any doubtful member of the party. They were written plainly, simply and preferably catchy (Todays example include 'Justice for Altantuya', 'SCORPENE Scandal' etc), in the vernacular and in a matter-of-fact tone, to show that the CPM was connected to the people. It (the propaganda materials) must also be highly accessible to the people (Today via alternative media).

The external function was further divided into two approaches. The overarching policy is reaching out to the people, first to fan the flames of anti-British (perhaps today may be read as anti Government/BN/UMNO/Malay) sentiment and secondly to humanize the CPM to draw public support.

As for the first approach, a significant portion of CPM propaganda material was devoted to demonizing the British government or highlighting the brutality of its police force. For instance, a section of the Battlefront newsletter (CPM Propaganda mouthpiece/tool) reported alleged police abuse, “British soldiers raped a 50 year old Malay woman”(Today Altantuya murder, TBH, Police Brutality during BERSIH etc) on the front page and “regular troops of the British imperialists raped a 12-year-old Chinese girl”(fill in the blanklah for today examples).

Subsequently, provide the impression to the masses that, the cruelty of the British was condemned by the “people”. Then throw in a made up “quote”, something like, the elders from village such and such was quoted to have said “the rule of these inhuman beasts will surely end soon”. (This is Kua Kia Soong specialty). This stream of negative reports on the British, coming from the mouths of the “public”, was aimed at creating a picture of widespread suffering. Those days, CPM propaganda was pivotal in turning silent, private resentment into collective outrage towards the government.

In the second approach, the propaganda machine portrayed the CPM as the perfect victims of/champion against British cruelty. CPM newsletter regularly published 'letters' purportedly from the public airing their grievances against unjust treatment by the British. This served not only to discredit the government but also to depict the CPM as a voice of the people. The idea is to promote the image of CPM as being linked to the common man and fought for his welfare (today mostly through invited 'speaker' during roadshow).

The desired end state of externally directed propaganda was to vilify and thus “push” the people away from the British, while humanizing and thus “pulling” people to support the CPM. Negative reports on the British often ran side by side with glowing reports on the CPM. For instance, next to the report on the British soldier’s rape of a Malay woman in “Battlefront” (CPM Newsletter) was a report on the refusal of an CPM member to accept contributions from a rubber tapper who was seriously ill, demonstrating the CPM’s 'compassion'.

Back then, the latent discontent towards the government and the moderate pro-communist goodwill that resulted from such propaganda effort lead to chaos and massacre.

So, other than the means (technology and legal), seriously do you see any differences between what happening then and now? Ultimately apakah bezanya antara BATTLEFRONT dengan SUARAM?


Anonymous said...

What defense we have Indons cumming in and out of Malaysia illegally and and what's the navy doing?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:23

Is that job of navy OR of marine police?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1.23

Ever heard of entity called Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Royal Malaysian Police and Immigration Department?

You dont use Submarines to torpedoes boats carrying illegal immigrants or Airforce Long Range Interceptor or a regiment of Army Multiple Launch Rocket System for the said purposes either.

You belajar dari Kua Kia Soong kah?


Hj Munawar said...

A well research articles.But what i dont understand if Razak Baginda make so much money,why Najib bodygaurd kill innocent Mongolian lady.

Whoever responsible Allah will put him or her in Neraka Jahanam.

My Say