Thursday, February 11, 2010

A REVELATION

I wish to take my readers back two years i.e. 2008, and to be exact September 5, 2008 at a time when Army had already took possession of one regiment worth of the Brazilian Avibras ASTROS-11 Multi Launched Rocket System (MLRS), where negotiations for the acquisition began back in 2003/04, or thereabout. The concluding deal was to acquire an additional regiment, and this was openly mentioned by the Chief of Army at the 76th Army Day Parade on 1st March 2009 (refer to my article 'Who is Sydney Franklin?' posted Wednesday, March 4, 2009), that saw the delivery of its rockets in two batches i.e. December 2008 and May 2009, and the first Battery in January 2010, to be followed by the remaining two batteries in June 2010.

I am not disputing the need for the Malaysian Army to acquire the MLRS, that had proven to be an effective weapon system against the Iranian during the Iraq-Iran war (1980-1988). In fact, the army should acquire at least a brigade worth of the system, to be effective and to pose a deterrent.

However, my main concern is the manner in which the deal was struck with Avibras Aeroespacial, the manufacturer of ASTROS, and the 'ugly hands' behind the deal. I am not wrong in saying that Sydney Franklin had a hand in managing through this deal, including several other army defence procurement deals, and he seemed to be a favourite foreign defence agent for some of army's top officials, for unknown reasons.

I am told that the President of Avibras Brazil, Mr. S. Hassuani being a direct party to the deal had struck a arrangement with Sydney Franklin (being the agent) around early September 2008, for a payment to be made through Banco do Brazil (Bank of Brazil) to Affin Bank, Kuala Lumpur. The payment is said to be made in the form of a Bank Guarantee for an unknown amount. (I suppose a Bank Guarantee transaction for a business deal is very normal)

Interestingly, what is not normal however was a mention of an army senior officer who is supposedly a recipient of a largess (reportedly for his role in the deal), who is said to be in possession of an overseas account. In a corresponding email, this officer upon being informed about the above transaction wrote, “Got your email – thanks. I sincerely hope it can be done on 10 Sep (2008). That would make my day”.

The contents of the email written by the senior army officer can mean many things. By saying, “that would make my day” raises a lot of speculations, one of which is that he is 'totally grateful and joyous that something exciting to his benefit is about to happen'. I am not saying that he is about to receive cash to be credited into his overseas account as a result of the successful deal. What I am saying is that the tone of the email raises to a lot of suspicion, and one can be forgiven if one suspects that corruption is involved.

I do know that the circle of exclusive friends (subordinates) that this particular senior army officer has around him are privy to the dealings he has had with the foreign defence agent, and to be seen with the latter (who happens to live in KL) is enough to raise suspicion.

To this mysterious senior army officer, this article will only hurt you if you have indeed been involved in this unscrupulous and immoral deal, and if you do, I hope you are brave and honorable enough to own up to your misdeeds, or be damned as the most corrupt senior army officer ever. And to all his exclusive friends, you are not save either and it will only be time when you too will have to answer to your misdeeds.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

38 comments:

WIRA said...

Dear Dato',
I am afraid you are only wasting your time and breath. No ammount of appealing or coaxing on your part will ever prompt these corrupt individuals to own-up or repent. Clearly they are Godless beings who do not believe in the 'Akhirat'. So what is your point?

ArshadRaji said...

Dear Wira,

My aim is to make people realise their wrong-doings i.e. if ever they are involved in one. That's the least I can do. I cannot bring them to court, nor could I hang them by the coconut tree. I believe that having known that there is corruption in the army, one cannot just sit ideal and do nothing about it. To do this, is to condone the act. By making them realise their wrong-doing, we might save them too. Is that wrong to do? If they do do wish to heed our advice, so be it. We do not loose anything, but our conscience is clear, in that we want to help others who may not know that they have been trapped into doing something wrong. I stand by what I do, regardless of what others have to say. Thanks for your comments.

maurice said...

Dato,

Tahniah dengan kejayaan Dato mendedahkan perkara tersebut.

Kita boleh membuat kesimpulan sudah ada elemen rasuah dengan jawapan email tersebut kerana ia mencerminkan perhubungan yang rapat dan intim antara dua pihak.

Sepatutnya dalam sebarang projek perolehan dilarang sekali pihak penjual/agent menghubungi pucuk pemimpin ketenteraan sebegitu.Lainlah kalau ada 'vested interest' tidak hairan kalau pihak agent tidak dihalangi dari menghubongi pucuk pemimpin yang terlibat secara peribadi.

Saya ingin mencadangkan kepada Dato untuk membuat laporan kepada MACC untuk disiasat selanjutnya.Pembelian MLRS ini baru, mereka yang terlibat termasuk Sydney Franklin maseh ada untuk di panggil dan disoalsiasat oleh MACC.Saya difahamkan MACC mempunyai kuasa yang besar jika dibandingkan dangan BPR dahulu untuk menyiasat kes-kes rasuah dalam negara yakni MACC tidak memerlukan lapuran yamg lengkap untuk memulakan sebarang siasatan.

maurice said...

Dato,

Kes ini boleh disiasat oleh MACC dari beberapa sudut:

1. Mengapa rundingan terus dan tidak tender terhad atau terbuka?
2. Mengapa harga MLRS Avibras ini 3-4 kali ganda lebih mahal dari MLRS negara-negara lain?
4. Mengapa Sydney Franklin dibenarkan tidak melantik agent tempatan untuk mepromosikan MLRS Avibras ini?
5. Mengapa Sydney Franklin dibiarkan datang ke Mindef tanpa diiringi orang tempatan seperti syarikat-syarikat antarabangsa lain?
6. Mengapa Avibras tidak dipaksa untuk memindahkan teknoloji senggaraan kepada syarikat tempatan sehingga hari ini?Malah ada ura-ura Sydney Franklin akan menubuhkan sebuah syarikat senggaraan MLRSnya sendiri di Malaysia dengan menggunakan pakar-pakar dari Brazil dan UK.
7. Butir-butir perhubungan email seperti yang Dato sebutkan tersebut.

Harap Dato dapat memajukan laporan kepada MACC sedemikian rupa.

ArshadRaji said...

Dear Maurice,

I am encouraged by your support. I see what I can do. Thanks.

ArshadRaji said...

Dear Maurice,

I am encouraged by your support. I see what I can do. Thanks.

Capt's Longhouse said...

Wira,

,,,the price for greatness is responsibility !

Dato,

,,,take away the cause, and the effect ceases.

i rest my case.

maurice said...

Dato,

Another incident showing the backup Sydney Franklin has in Mindef was the incident when he was ejected from Mindef when the TPTD (Lt Jen Dato Abd Aziz Hassan) caught him wondering in Mindef corridor without escort.Apparently there was no follow-up action by the relevant department against the person.We can only presume the relevant department must have been told by someone higher than the TPTD not take action against Sydney Franklin.

Let the MACC investigate who the person is.

maurice said...

Dato,

Saya dimaklumkan oleh seorang yang berpengaruh di peringkat pucuk kepimpinan nasional, "it is no more business as usual" dengan penubuhan MACC.Kuasa MACC sekarang amat besar dan meluas untuk memulakan penyiasatan dan menangkap
mereka yang melibatkan diri dengan rasuah.

Kenyataan, “Got your email – thanks. I sincerely hope it can be done on 10 Sep (2008). That would make my day” itu boleh digunakan oleh MACC sebagai lead kepada sebarang penyiasaatan.

maurice said...

Dato,

You are doing what the society wants you to do, an end to corruption by government servants and politicians.

You are filling the gap which add value to the concept of transparency, good governance and accountability.

We believe in your intention but need patient and preseverance to see the end result.

You are not vindictive against anyone out there but to expose those who have committed certain corrupt practice which undermine the morale and fighting spirit of members of the MAF.

Let us give our support to Dato Arshad in his battle against corruption in the MAF and Mindef.

Capt's Longhouse said...

Maurice,

,,,indeed, life is too short to tackle without a sense of humour, with it you can place any seemingly large problem in its proper perspective and laugh about it.....and a smile is the beginning of wisdom.
,,,My guess, Dato is ever smiling nowadays too ?.

WIRA,
,,,accept life, and you must accept regret. He who undevalues others is likely to undervalue himself !.

EXRMC said...

Dato,

In the military organisation, some top leaders and officers can earn good money when come to the Procurement of a Million Ringgit Equipment. But to prove that they have done the unscrupulous and immoral deals is quiet a diifficult task.Though it is... we will not give up easily.

Your well written postings in your blog is good enough as AN EYE OPENER to our Political Masters and may be as a detterent to the FUTURE CULPRITS.

Well done Dato.....Keep Moving

samsaimon said...

Salam Dato'

We are waiting for your write up on 'nonsubmersible' sub. Forthcoming?

Capt's Longhouse said...

dato,

,,,indeed its worse than misdeeds but its a crime and those that steals must face the law.
,,,i avoided the temtation of being an armed military aircraft seller/dealer for that very reason cos. of the corruption involved with almost every single dealing !.
,,,Been approached many times due to my back ground in aviation plus involvement with aircraft purchases while in the oil & gas multinational company BUT I can't sleep well if ever i were to do so.
,,,my parents taught me, never to corrupt others or be involved in such activities too.
,,,in fact, while as an officer in the MAF, we were all properly trained and guided too, so WHAT happened since ?. Seems that the situation is made worse by our 'corrupted politicians' and the lack in 'political will' by those in power to take corrective actions.
,,,this is where you come in, Dato and indeed most of us will support you, in whatsoever means !.

SYABAS Dato, the nation still needs more of you too.

Salam.

Mazlan said...

Akum YB Dato'
Perkara ini tiada kesudahan dan bermaharajelela bukan sahaja dlm ATM. Ianya ibarat barah(canser)
Pesara

EXRMC said...

Hai Semua,

Corruption.... Why is this happening?? Simple....LACK OF POLITICAL COMMITMENTS. Just Immagine...MORE CASES ARE LEFT UNSETTLED. WHILE THOSE CASES BROUGHT TO COURT ENDED UP IN LOSS.....

Slogan "Anti -Corruption" yang dilaungan oleh Kerajaan is just " a political tricks that meant only to win votes".

Kita harus sedar bahawa "CORRUPTION THREATENS GOOD GOVERNANCE, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND DEMOCRATIC PROCESS".

Kalau ianya diibarat Kanser tak apa...Asalkan jangan sampai jadi "EARTHQUAKE". Perjuangan menentang Rasuah mesti diteruskan......

PM said...

Keep up your effort Dato, we are behind you

maurice said...

Dato,

Actually it is an outdated military strategy to rely on the ASTROS MLRS as a military deterrent in our environment.

It was okay for the Iran-Iraq War because troops were deployed in open desert on both sides of the contested straits scarcely inhabited by civilian population.

The ASTROS MLRS unguided rockets will surely cause untold damage to human lives and properties due to its inaccuracy when used close to human habitation.Malaysia will be subjected to criticisms and sanctions by the international community.

The trend in military warfare now is to use guided rockets and smart aerial/artillery ammunition against military target with minimum or zero collateral damage to civilians and properties.

Guided rockets and smart ammunition will improve our military deterrent because they know that if they make the first move we can neutralize them effectively with minimum casualties to the civilian population.

It looks as if the ASTROS MLRS is not a good buy after all in the context of military deterrent in view of our geographical condition and the current play of global politics.

Fathol said...

We all seem powerless and can do little to correct the many wrongs committed. Greed has overtaken some who look holy and pious from the outset. Looks like the MAF is doomed for extinction. Unless, of course, we can evict the corrupts from Putrajaya. Let GE 13 be the deciding factor.

F said...

Dato, perhaps instead of the ASTROS or any other MLRS, the cash would have been better spent on new 105mm guns to replace the 40 odd year Model 56 105mm howitzers or motorised 155mms. Prior to ASTROS being ordred, a local company tied in with a Bosnian company to offere an MLRS.

Maurice mentioned the inacuracy of the ASTROS and smart/guided rounds. Though all MLRS are intended to be used for saturation work as opposed to tube artillery, there are smart/guided rounds available now. It is unknown however if Avibras is developing any for the ASTROS.

maurice said...

Dear F,

Yes talking about guided MLRS, Singapore has bought 18 U.S. truck mounted MLRS (HIMARS) rocket launchers. She also bought 32 pods (six rocket cells) containing the 680 pound GMLRS (guided multiple launch rocket system) rocket. This GPS guided 227mm rocket has a range of 70 kilometers and the ability to land within meters of its intended target at any range. This is because it uses GPS (plus a back up inertial guidance system) to find its target. Singapore is getting the version with a 180 pound high explosive warhead. The guided rocket is much more effective than the older, unguided version.

F said...

Maurice, even without guided rounds, the ASTROS is still useful against fixed targets like airfields and bases. I have no idea if AVIBRAS has developed any guided rounds. Both the ASTROS regiments are now under the control of a Rocket Brigade and are no longer ARMY Field HQ assets but have been allocated to divisions.

maurice said...

Dear F,

We ought to ask why inspite of the availability of more modern guided rocket MLRS in the global market, the Army still procure the outdated unguided MLRS ASTROS from Avibras for the second regiment? I am sure the MACC would be curious to know from people like Sydney Franklin and Tan Sri Arumugam who are the arms merchant for this project.

F said...

Maurice, I get your point but when the first batch of ASTROS was ordered, the HIMAS wasn't developed yet. The only guided/smart round was the TACMS fired by the MLRS which wasn't cleared for sale to non NATO operators and was beyond Malaysia's budget. A cheaper alternative to the ASTROS would have been the Grad or Bateleur, both of which however don't have smart rounds. A more sensible option IMO would have been to postpone an MLRS buy and spend the cash on artillery.

F said...

Maurice,
Having already procured a first batch of ASTROS it wouldn't have made any sense logisticly to order a different MLRS. As it is, there is no almost no standardisation in the whole ATM, making it a nightmare to support and mantain the different kind of systems operated. It may not have the smart/guided rounds that HIMAS has but I wouldn't call the ASTROS outdated [granted it may have been designed in the 80's, just like many other MLRS in the market now]

maurice said...

Dear F,

The warfare concept of MLRS saturation against airfields and bases is not feasible in today's global politics, especially in our geographical configuration.

To start with, the political/military leader giving such MLRS engagement decision will more than likely face charges of crime against humanity because the ASTROS MLRS unguided rockets will surely result in the loss of civilan lives and properties (because all airfileds and military bases in our region are co-located with civil populated areas).

Therefore in times of crisis political/military leaders will be reluctant to use the ASTROS MLRS for such an engagement for fear of being hauled up by the International Court.

Smart air/artillery ammunition will improve the accuracy of hits down to 5 metres of the centre of the intended military target thus minimizing collateral damage to civilian lives and properties.So the risk is less for the decision maker to be charged with crime against humanity since the ones which get neutralized are people in uniforms.

F said...

Maurice, the same then could be applied to other assets - howitzers, mortars, aircraf t-not just the ASTROS or other unguided rounds fire by other MLRS. Are you saying that military leaders should avoid hitting a target just because there is a block of apartments located 600 metres away? Would a potential aggressor have the same reservations?

Even with smart/guided rounds which provide a reduced CEP, it is impossible to avoid civilian casualties. When the ASTROS was first ordered, there was no smart/guided round in the market and the vast majority of rounds used by MLRS worlwide are still unguided due to costs and for the simple reason that the most effective way to hit troops is by using unguided HE rounds. Guided rounds are used to hit precise targets like bridges, fuel dumps, etc.

maurice said...

Dear F,

Artillery howitzers and for that mortars are better than the unguided ASTROS MLRS in terms of its PE/CPE.

With the artillery howitzers, a Forward Obsrever (FOO)can be relied to bring the first artillery projectile within 50-100 metres of the centre of target provided the survey and meteorological conditions are fully met and adjusted.Another 2-3 rounds for adjustment and presto! the next salvo will be right on top of the target.

Even better, with smart artillery ammunition like the BONUS and EXCALIBUR, the first round/salvo itself will be right on top of the target (5 metres plus or minus from the centre of the target.

With the ASTROS MLRS unguided rockets, I was told the Malaysian Artillery FOOs could not even see and locate where the rockets fell during one firing exercise (just to illustrate how inaccurate the ASTROS MLRS are).

Yes, I am afraid some other countries in our region have fully grasp the need to minimize collateral damage in any future warfare.Their F16s, UAVs and HIMARS are some examples of their intended adherance to this concept.For example, their F16's are equipped with FLIR that could detect moving vehicle 40-60 kilometres away by day and night.All this point to their desire to neutralize military targets with pin-point accuracy.

My point is we have missed the opportunity to have a guided MLRS system for our military deterrent requirement for reasons best known by those who made the decision.My fear, the unguided ASTROS MLRS at the end of the day, may become another white elephant because of the inaccuracy of the system which carry a lot of risk to the decision maker if used against a military target in the vicinity of populated areas.

Maybe this could be another ammunition which can be used by the MACC to dig the truth out.

F said...

Maurice,the UAVs, Sniper pod and HIMARS are part of an SAF programme to develop an integrated newtwork centric force, with a much improved sensor/shooter capability. Minimising collateral damage wasn't the primary reason for creating this network centric force.

At the time the decision was made to buy ASTROS there was no MLRS smart munitions available. As I said before, smart/guided rounds are used sparingly only against certain targets. One reason rounds like BONUS and Excalibur haven't been widely adopted is due to costs. BTW, with Pakistan and China, STRIDE is working on a guided 155mm round [Tamingsari], which is a knock off of the Russian Krasnapol.

maurice said...

Dear F,

Well I will be suprised if that is not the primary reason even with the improved sensor/shooter capability.It makes good political objective to have the capability to shoot accurately for both political and military reasons.As we can see, the international community will readily accept a party that can explain itself in the judicous use (minimun civilian casualties) of its military force when required to defend its national interest.

Well I accept there was no guided MLRS available at the time when the Malaysian Army procured its first ASTROS MLRS Regiment?What about the 2nd Regiment? Did'nt the Artillery Generals and Colonels discovered the inaccuracy of the system when they conducted the live firing in Malaysia? Why did'nt they advise the decision maker(s) to look at guided MLRS systems or at the very least ask AVIBRAS to provide them with a guided MLRS for the 2nd Regiment.Mind you the second purchase was made when guided MLRS technology was already available in the global market.Perhaps the MACC could get a better explanation from those involved in the decison-making process.

For me it does not make sense not to go for better MLRS technology when it is available in the market.The second procurement looks like a done deal without much questions being asked by the Generals and Colonels from the Artillery Corps.I am rather surprise because Artillery officers are normally a vocal lot who are not afraid to express their opinions on bread and butter issues.

My best wishes to STRIDE in the TAMINGSARI endeavour but its past record does not give much confidence and hope that it could do it.I still maintain with my earlier comments, that it would be better for STRIDE to focus its energy on helping local companies to successfully absorb the transfer of tecnology from foreign OEMs, such as helping a local company to acquire the necessary expertise to maintain the AVIBRAS MLRS.I think this would be a more meaningful endeavour rather than wasting public funds on projects which we do not have the necessary technological base to support from.

Let me ask do we have the necessary experienced engineers and scientist to embark on this TAMINGSARI project.I believe Pakistan and Iran have hundreds of engineers and scientists with PhDs in the related enginnering fields and most have worked in Europe and the USA before going home to help their countries.This is the main reason why Pakistan and Iran have been successful in reverse engineering activities even that with the help of its allies, China helping Pakistan and Russia helping Iran.

Capt's Longhouse said...

gents,

,,,if i ever to be the enemy, my 1st target would be the oil fields !
,,,air fields ?...most of our high ways have been designed as alternatives, if some of you is not aware of it too, same as with our friends South of the border.
,,,just fully train our ground troops, it will be good in the long run AND make full use of what we have But not, what is good to have !.
,,,Lets not get carried away with an armed race too. Bloody waste of rakyat good money, if we are not carefull about it.

EXRMC said...

Gents,

If we want to argue in this blog which equipments are better for our Military Organisation (Army), THERE WILL BE NO END TO IT. What do we get from your arguement/write up in this blog? Well...I dont know.
Why not LET THE USER DECIDE WHAT THEY WANT, BECAUSE THEY ARE THE ONE WHO ARE GOING TO FIGHT THE BATTLE.

I agree with you Dato, We are more concerned the manner in which the deal was struck with Avibras Aeroespacial, the manufacturer of ASTROS and the "ugly hand" behind the deal

Wassalam.

maurice said...

Dear EXRMC,

On the contrary, we should welcome any argument that is presented in an intellectual and factual manner if we want to make any progress in this blog.To say that the discourse it is a waste of time would defeat the very purpose of this blog which is to dig the truth of human behaviour and motivation.Unless we are able to do it we are going to be futile in our endeavour.

maurice said...

Dear Capt Longhouse,

I agree with you, it is a waste of public money with the way how we go about with our defence procurement.Our deterrent capability has not improved even with the trillions being spent on defence equipment and systems.

The main reason is that our politicians do not have a clear understanding what is needed to organize the country for effective national defence.In the absence of clear political direction,our national defence will continue to be weak and irrelevant in the context of achieving effective military deterrent.

maurice said...

Sdr Askarsusu,

Sdr tak dengar ke berita bekas PAT Jen TS Aziz akan dilantik sebagai Duta Besar ke negara Perancis?Tahniah kepada TS.PS pun tentu gembira tak?Paris tu hebat, jauh dari KL yang saya tahu.Apa komen anda?

Capt's Longhouse said...

,,,sure, put an ex-military guy in France and buy more of their stuffs ?.
...knowingly French business practises, our PM surely must know his business inside out !.
,,,what is next after the yellow submarines ?..I just wonder why, we malaysians can still take so much already !. It makes me sick. Just too much hidden agendas, from the way I see it-lah. Dirty politics...collabore au mystere de la creation de la vie ! le plus simplement, le plus innocemment malasians !! oui ?.

F said...

EXRMC, the problem is the the user doesn't have the final say to decide what to buy, our defence buys are largely based on political considerations rather than practicality or what we really need. During Mahathir's era, his main prority in choosing who we buy from was offsets and transfers of technology and how it would improve the local industry. That's why there is no standardisation in the MAF, with so many different stuff from different suppliers operated.

Maurice and I are not engaged in an arguement but rather a spirited debate or conversation. If this blog is not the right place to post such stuff perhaps Dato should be the one to point it out? Or are you saying that as far as this blog goes we should restrict our postings solely to corruption, good governance, etc?

Capt's Longhouse said...

guys,
,,,indeed we malaysian is undergoing an cultural metamorphosis across the country.
,,,lets not discriminate each other in the process against people who looked or behaved in any way different from the traditional malaysian.
,,,my take, is please don't hit out at people who stand out !. The reference is that anyone who thinks and behaves in any way different from the historically sanctified traditional Malaysian Elite's norm will be beaten into conformity.
,,,we malaysians have to start saying "NO" for such an action too.