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