MACC still investigating purchase of Diamond aircraft – State director

Razim speaking at the press conference.

KUCHING: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is still investigating the purchase of a DA42M-NG Diamond aircraft which will be used by the Sarawak Forest Department and other agencies to conduct aerial surveillance in the state.

The aircraft which was approved by the federal cabinet in 2017, at a cost of RM35 million, has raised eyebrows which led MACC to open an investigation paper on its purchase in mid 2018.

“The case is still under investigation. I cannot comment much due to the sensitivity of the case,” said MACC state director Razim Noor to a press conference after their “Majlis Mesra Bersama Media 2018” event held at the Sarawak Islamic Information Centre today.

He, however, revealed that the aircraft is currently parked in a neighbouring country while MACC is still conducting its investigations.

Despite Razim’s assurance that the MACC are still conducting their investigations, Sarawak Forest Department director Hamden Mohammad on Tueday said the purchase of the aircraft will go ahead as planned.

According to Hamden, the department is awaiting to sign the agreement letter for the aircraft that was approved by the Ministry of Finance in 2016 and purchased in Oct, 2017 under the 11th Malaysia Plan.

He added that the aircraft is for the department and other agencies to conduct aerial surveillance such as monitoring the flood situation as well as for mapping purposes.

The twin-engine, propeller-driven airplane, developed and manufactured by Austrian company, Diamond Aircraft Industries, can accommodate two technicians and two pilots on each mission.

On June 9 this year, PKR Sarawak vice-chairman See Chee How lodged a police report calling for immediate investigations into the purchase of the aircraft which he claimed to be hugely over-priced.

In the same report, See has urged the police and the Ministry of Transport to investigate whether there is/are individual(s) or private person(s) and/or private/ public companies involved in the transaction of the aircraft.

A statement was later issued by Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh on June 10, stating that the RM35 million was the total cost for the overall project that consisted of aircraft, mission equipment, spare-parts, warranties, technical support, training and implementation for a period of five years.

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