Govt urged to stop shadowy multi-billion deal with Sapura
Sep 9: The Defence and Finance ministries have been urged to halt the RM2 billion ‘Network Centric Operation’ (NCO) awarded to to Sapura Secured Technologies.
PKR vice president Nurul Izzah Anwar (left) claimed that to date, the NCO project, meant to integrate applications, control systems as well as weaponry for army, had not produced a roadmap or a programme plan in the framework of the country’s defence.
Izzah questioned whether in the absence of such a roadmap, the cost of the project will rise.
"Who will then make profit when there is no limit to a spending budget for the NCO,” she asked during a press conference held outside the Defence Ministry yesterday.
Last month, PKR's communication director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad questioned the need for the NCO programme when a similar system had already been in place.
“We understand that ATM already has a similar system in place developed a few years back. Furthermore, the project had drawn flak from the entire ATM officers themselves, and their concern has been ignored by those who instructed the project to be continued," he stated, adding that the ability of Sapura to carry out the project should also be doubted because the company did not possess technical expertise to implement the project.
On the other hand, Izzah explained that the General Service Requirement (GSR) which covered every hardware and software requirement in the NCO had yet to be completed and approved.
She pointed out that the project did not go through the process of check and balance, adding that such a case would lead to failure.
The Lembah Pantai member of parliament also claimed that the existing 'Command and Control' (C2) system currently in use by the armed forces was still in practice, adding that her party had been made to understand that Sapura "insists to develop a new C2 system."
"How can the Defence Ministry allow Sapura to be so insistent, without taking into consideration the findings of the report?" asked Izzah.
Her party colleague Tian Chua questioned whether the spending spree in military equipments was now the government’s priority.
“The move has questioned by army officers themselves. It seems that there is a trend of buying military equipment exceeding the current need,” he added.
Sapura Secured Technologies, an amalgamation of six Sapura subsidiaries which includes Sapura Defence, Sapura Research, Sapura-LTAT Communications Technologies, Sapura Transmission, Sapura Advanced Systems and Sapura Thales Electronics, is headed by Rodzlan Akib Abu Bakar.
In 2007, the company denied that it was in discussion to supply 3,000 surveillance cameras to the government in a contract said to be worth RM1 billion.
Defence ministry's multi-billion deal involving Sapura questioned