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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Roger Mitton and his fictional submarine report #FitnahPR

Roger Mitton

Roger Mitton, a regional reporter in Pnom Penh Post, Cambodia wrote, ‘Submarine deal resurfaces to haunt Malaysia’s top man’. For a reporter to repeat a script that was scrapped by its original writer, Raja Petra Kamaruddin (RPK) is just pathetic.

RPK, the unstable, coward fugitive who thought of himself as a man of integrity and a hero had confessed openly that he just made up the whole story about the PM’s involvement in Altantuya’s murder. The murder too, had already gone to trial and none of the evidence could be linked to the PM or the submarines. But obviously, there are some parties who are being haunted by it, or perhaps, by the PM and refuse to accept that there is nothing behind the purchase of the submarines and that the disturbing stories about ‘Malaysia’s top man’ is just downright lies.

Funny that Mitton seems to know a little more than RPK, the original writer himself. For instance, he knows that Altantuya was raped even though her body was blown to pieces.

If only we have the same level of imagination as Mitton’s, we would have thought that Mitton is the one actually involved in the murder. This would be the only explaination on how he knows exactly that the girl was raped and what was transpired between Altantuya and Razak Baginda before her death when he only met Razak briefly, once or twice before.

But, Mitton couldn’t get his story straight. We can’t help but become a bit lost in his article as to whether Altantuya was a mistress of Razak and how did she get involved with the PM. And we can sense that Mitton is being very careful as to only mention an approximate amount of the submarine price, most probably because he didn’t even know anything in detail. Sure enough, he didn’t know anything because the price and the amount of the bribe keep changing in every version of the story.

The most popular version however, is that the bribe amounted to EURO 114.96 million, which was paid to Perimekar Sdn Bhd, a company owned by either Razak or his wife or the PM’s wife or whoever – that even SUARAM, the champion of this scorpene issue, the Malaysians Oppositions or Mitton, can’t seem to be able to tell although they know everything else in detail.

The only unchanged version is the one came from the government and the PM himself and had been told again and again in the Parliament. That is the fact that Perimekar Sdn Bhd is a company owned by the Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT), Boustead Holdings Berhad and K.S. Ombak Laut Sdn bhd. And that, Perimekar didn’t receive any commission or bribe from DCNS, but a payment for the support service and maintenance they provide.

This include, fully furnished homes for the 27 officers, 156 crews and 30 staffs and their families in France and Spain for a period of 6 years.

Perimekar too, is responsible for providing and managing the management office in France and Spain for 6 years.

Then again, Perimekar has to shoulder the cost of their insurance, allowance, travelling, coordination and other relevant expenses in order to ensure smooth operation for 6 years.

I hope Mitton will not try to compare the cost of living in Cambodia against the cost of living in Europe, particularly France. Working out the figures from the alleged amount of ‘bribe’ that is EURO 114.96 million or RM410.27 million as of the date of the contract that is 5 June 2002, we would find that at least EURO 85 million would be needed for the whole operation, plus EURO 26 million overhead cost, whereby, in the end Perimekar would be left with only about EURO 3 million of profit for this project.

Should all the RM410.27 be paid as a bribe to the PM, or Razak or anybody, then how does Perimekar even continue to exist when they have to bear all the service and maintenance cost of the project? Is Mitton telling us that this company is operating for free?

Maybe Mitton has been living in Cambodia for far too long and longing for a more juicy story. We don’t blame Mitton for trying to soothe his boredom.

But I can see that Mitton can be a very good fiction-writer. After this very pathetic write-up, I guess Mitton should seriously consider writing fiction instead. At least, he would be praised for a fiction well-written rather than being ridiculed for a fictionalized report. If there is any consolation for Mitton, at least we are now aware of the existing of a paper called the ‘Phnom-Penh Post’.

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