Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Najib's French Connection

Since SUARAM lodged its complaint with the French courts for a judicial review of the Scorpene contract in November 2009, the French prosecutors have certainly been busy with their investigations. They have interviewed officials in the French state company, DCN and related companies such as Thales as well as officials in the French ministry of defence. They have looked into bank vaults and scrutinized contracts, memoranda of understanding, memoranda of intent, invoices, bank accounts of certain individuals including Abdul Razak Baginda. There are also some rather telling internal confidential reports of DCN and the French ministry of defence.

SUARAM’s French lawyer, Joseph Breham made this observation: “Investigations so far have provided sufficient evidence to point our finger at Malaysian officials in this hearing.” I cannot wait for Najib Razak to be fingered. And what is making this an even more delectable prospect is that if the French issues a subpoena on Najib, he cannot avoid it without risking an international arrest warrant.

Sure to add to Najib’s woes, Francoise Hollande of the Socialist party is set to be the new President of France. Actually, the French have been dragging their feet on this case for years because it involves the UMP government, led at the time of the payoffs by Jacques Chirac – Nicolas Sarkozy's mentor and predecessor. Now with the defeat of the UMP candidate in the French presidential election, I expect things to move a lot faster. Get ready to hide, Najib!

At the Taman Indrahana Toastmasters meeting last evening, I was one of four speakers who gave speeches. It was an impromptu speech that was delivered with flair and panache. And I was voted the Best Speaker too. What spiced it all up was the way my evaluator Benny Chia (PricewaterhouseCoopers Toastmasters Club) offered his feedback because he made it so entertaining! I didn’t know about this side of him until yesterday – a funny person, he was. I will award this meeting an 8 out of a 10! Taman Indrahana sets the bar for quality meetings that few Toastmasters clubs can follow!

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