PETALING JAYA, Sept 1, 2015:

Questions have been raised as to why the country is interested in purchasing a helicopter carrier from France that was meant for the Russian Navy.

PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli said the conservative estimate for the purchase of one helicopter carrier could touch US$650 million (RM2.72 billion).

Quoting a report by the International Business Times on Aug 26, Rafizi also said that equipping and maintaining the vessel could also come to about the same amount.

The two helicopters carriers namely “Sevastopol” and “Vladivostok” were built for the Russians but France decided to cancel the contract when Russia got involved in the invasion of Ukraine following the Crimean crisis.

Rafizi said now France was left with two ships that it does not need and its defence minister Jean Yves Le Drian was to discuss its sale.

He pointed out that the sale of the ship has been widely reported in the international media.

“The Mistral class carriers are meant for Russia’s strategic plan, how can this ship fit Malaysia’s defense needs? “

Given that the current economic situation does not merit such a huge purchase, the Pandan Member of Parliament said the correct way to purchase a warship should first begin by defining the country’s defense and strategic needs

Hoping that the controversial purchase of the two Scorpene submarines previously would not be repeated, he urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein to explain the need for the purchase in the next parliamentary session.

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