When Malaysian govt decided to buy a couple of Scorpene class submarines from DCNS, it was inevitable that the issue became politicised. Amongst the accusations thrown at our Navy was we had paid RM6.1 billion to buy a couple of scrap metals as submarines.
|RMN Scorpene class Submarines, renamed as Perdana Menteri class. Photo sourced from Wikipedia.|
What more, some of these rumour mongers said they had heard it from their relatives who were serving in the Navy. They saw the rusting submarines under the sun berthed at Lumut Naval Base.
Many of us defence writers had tried to correct this perception for years. True, we bought a couple of submarines. They were bought brand new, and no, they are not rusting out at Lumut Naval Base.
The culprit of the rumour is actually PSC Naval Dockyard Sdn Bhd. Well, it was not their intention, but it was the unintended consequences of their actions when they purchased a couple of Zwaardvis class submarines from Holland, hoping to score quick cash from the Navy.
|Photos of Zwaardvis class submarines rusting in Lumut. Photo credit to now defunct defence magazine, Tempur.|
Both submarines were not only rusting, but were rickety and may not be sea-worthy anymore. But that didn't stop the then owner of PSC Naval Dockyard Sdn Bhd, Datuk Amin Shah from his greed of trying to push these submarines to the Navy. I still hold that this man single-handedly destroyed our Royal Malaysian Navy.
Thankfully, the Navy was adamant and Zwaardvis never made it even through the selection. PSC ended up with a couple of rusting scraps, which they had sold later as scrap metals.
As for him, he is still a free man, despite single-handedly destroying RMN.