Apr 9, 2007

Najib Says Visit To South Korea Not To Buy Warships

Another Sukhoi scandal?

KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 (Bernama) -- Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Monday his recent visit to South Korea was not for the purpose of buying warships but to study the capability of that country's defence industry for consideration in future Malaysian defence programmes.

"We only made a study of the developments (in the defence industry) in terms of the (South Korean) capability," he said when replying to a supplementary question from Fong Kui Lun (DAP-Bukit Bintang).

Fong had wanted to know whether Najib's visit had anything to do with talk that Malaysia wanted to buy warships from South Korea.

Earlier, replying to the original question, from Razali Ibrahim (BN-Muar), Najib said the Malaysian Defence Industry Council (MPIM) had taken steps to develop the nation's defence industry, which included introducing various incentives through the issuing of long-term contracts to give the relevant companies the opportunity to derive reasonable profit.

"Long-term contracts are considered for strategic/security procurement involving high investment in terms of infrastructure, equipment/machinery, manpower, and research and development efforts," he said.

Najib, who is also Defence Minister, said MPIM also issued guidelines on offset programmes and technology transfer and coordinated opportunities for the export market, including the participation of local companies in the international market.

Replying to a supplementary question from Razali, he said the government would take into account the viability factor before a project or programme was implemented by a defence industry company.

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