Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Two Scorpene submarines scandal

MP claims magistrates only investigating but not a court case

DATUK Zulkifli Noordin yesterday dismissed as baseless an attempt by the opposition parties to create an issue over a probe by French magistrates into alleged irregularities concerning the Malaysian purchase of two Scorpene submarines.


Kulim Bandar Baru independent member of parliament Datuk Zulkifli Nordin says the submarine probe is a non-issue in France

The former lawyer of Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he was aware of a plan by leaders of opposition parties who wanted to create an issue out of the submarines’ purchase in an effort to link it to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“I’ve said so many times before, there is no such connection.

“If there was, I would had used it then.

“I didn’t because there is none,” he said.

Zulkifli, who was met at the Parliament lobby yesterday, said the Scorpene submarine issue was a non-issue in France as the authorities there were just investigating the matter instead of it being a court case.

“In France, a magistrate is the investigating authority and when they investigate, it is not a court proceeding.

“It is a normal investigation.

“So they may or may not proceed with it.

“It’s up to them.” he said.

The Royal Malaysian Navy had acquired the submarines KD Tunku Abdul Rahman and KD Tun Razak in 2009.

On another matter, Zulkifli, who is the Kulim Bandar Baru independent member of parliament, suggested that Bar bodies, similar to those in Sabah and Sarawak, be set up at every state to replace the Bar Council.

This, he said, would ensure greater autonomy to the respective states’ committee.

“The Sabah and Sarawak models have proven to be effective as they can control and regulate their members properly.

“There were hardly any complaints about lawyers from the two states, unlike those in Peninsular Malaysia.”

He expressed his worry that with the impending plan to open up the legal profession to foreign lawyers, the Bar Council may not be able to cope with the influx.

“The current Bar has so many functions and with the incoming new foreign lawyers, I don’t think it can cope,” he said.

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