Saturday, December 27, 2008

Zahar Hashim - whistleblower or sour grape or frog?

Malaysiakini reported in Eurocopter whistleblower joins PAS that Zahar Hashim, the man who had publicly reported the alleged discrepancies in the (now cancelled) RM1.6 billion Eurocopter deal, has changed his political allegiance.

Bloke has left UMNO to join PAS. He was the former division leader of Umno Petaling Jaya Selatan.

Would he be considered as a frog? kaytee opines a definite 'no' as Zahar doesn't hold any parliamentary or DUN seat.

One would only be considered a frog if one deceives the voters into voting for one's candidature as that from Party A, but subsequently absconding with that mandate to party B. Slimy deceitful a$$h()le.

Well, Zahar doesn't fit into this category. In fact he has done the correct thing to change political party now (for whatever reasons, which are for him and only him to decide) when he is neither a MP or ADUN.

PAS deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa has been rapt with Zahar's enlightened jump. Nasharuddin said: "He is with us now to defend the race, religion and nation."

Alhamdulillah, bangsa, agama dan negara sekarang tambah selamat kukuh.

And it's noteworthy that of UMNO's (hitherto monopolised) 3 cornerstones, PAS has adopted the first one, bangsa over the agama and the negara.

Indeed, Alhamdulillah! Praise be to the Almighty that once again, PAS has shown to us its true Islamic ethnic colours.

At least with UMNO, WYSIWYG warts and all, but with PAS, now you see it (the supranationalistic supra-ethnic Islamic principles), now you don't - wakakaka.

I had also blogged on Zahar’s attack against the Eurocopter deal some two months ago in Eurocopter Cougar deal - Malaysiakini's pre-emptive 'clawing'?

I had then written:

This evening Malaysiakini publishes
Letter questions 'shady' chopper deal, with PKR and pro PKR bloggers happily swarming the blogosphere with accusations that Najib had signed a shady deal ... again?

Needless to say, G.A.N would be ecstatic!

And the chief accuser of the alleged 'shady' deal has been Capt (rtd) Zahar Hashim, chairperson of Mentari Services Sdn Bhd, the company which didn’t succeed in its bid to supply TUDM with the replacement aircraft for the Nuris.

Needless to say, as the loser in the bid, he has cause plus the legitimate reason to challenge the Defence Ministry’s decision to opt for the Eurocopter’s Cougar. In the USA and Europe, aircraft companies which lost aircraft bids would raise Cain because the loss would be quantified in terms of billions of dollars. […]

I believe that Malaysiakini has been too quick to describe the purchase of the Eurocopter Cougar with words and phrases like ‘shady’ and ‘another scandal appears to be hovering over the Defence Ministry’, based on just the complaints of the chairperson of the losing company.

No doubt Mentari Services Sdn Bhd has a legitimate business reason to voice its grouses, but nonetheless they have been the complaints of an unsuccessful bidder to supply the TUDM with the Kazan 172, a Russian designed helicopter.

But in Malaysiakini's most recent report on a man who complained about the Eurocopter saga I did wonder about the online news' use of the term ‘whistleblower’.

According to the dictionary, a whistleblower is (usually though not necessary) an employee who brings wrongdoing by an employer or other employees to the attention of a government or law enforcement agency …

But should Zahar Hashim as a (undoubtedly disgruntled) loser in a competition to sell military helicopters to the Malaysian military be termed a whistleblower?

It undeservedly provides him with a righteous crusading sheen which I feel is yet to be proven, and thus yet to be earned.

And who’s to say that there was anything wrong in the selection of Eurocopter over the Russian designed Kazan 172?

As I had blogged in Eurocopter Cougar deal - Malaysiakini's pre-emptive 'clawing'?: "I believe that Malaysiakini has been too quick to describe the purchase of the Eurocopter Cougar with words and phrases like ‘shady’ and ‘another scandal appears to be hovering over the Defence Ministry’, based on just the complaints of the chairperson of the losing company."

Unfortunately the term ‘whistleblower’ prematurely implies there was.

Sure, Zahar as a business competitor has every right to complained as I wrote in my post. But I believe the more appropriate term, if at all Malaysiakini needs a catchy term to describe him in a news headline, would be ‘sour grapes’.

And in the world of military purchases, which may run into billions, (if I may be allowed to paraphrase William Congreve in his play 'The Mourning Bride'), hell hath no fury like a sour grape loser in a tender.

Of course there’s nothing wrong in being a sour grape loser and to whinge and whine over the competition but we need to recognize that probability, thus I would say Zahar has yet to merit the title of whistleblower.

I trust the journalists at Malaysiakini can see the difference, and avoid repeating their preemptive attack on the choice of the Eurocopter, this time through the inappropriate employment of the term ‘whistleblower’.

And congratulations to PAS on their prize catch - mudah-mudahan, inshaallah, Zahar Hashim will play a sterling perwira-ish role in defending PAS' ideology of (yang diutamakan) race, and then religion and nation.


  1. issue wasnt cougar or eurocop. its the process and the price.
    great isnt it for the govt to have some joy rides in langkawi and accept the product without technical testing. and the price was more than double of that to be paid by Brazil.
    if the deal aint not shady and without the outcry, another 2.0 billion be down into the drains.

  2. PAS will always be for the Malays first. Anyone who thinks PAS does not equate Malays and Islam has to be naive or stupid. By the way can any Malay possibly believe that a Malay need not be a Muslim or a Muslim need not be a Malay(eventually). That's right the race comes first at the end of the day. Just ask Mahathir.

  3. anon of 1:31 PM, December 27, 2008, I can't comment on the process but I can on the price, well, at least to a certain extent.

    The price of the basic helicopter would usually be the same all around the world but it's the eletronic fit that makes the major difference. The electronics alone, depending on the customer's selection/specifications could raise the basic price three, fourfold or even more.

    The RMAF version of the Eurocopter is for combat SAR which requires very very sophisticated electronic equipment. That could explain the vast price difference with the Brazilian model, which could be just the basic model minus the combat SAR equipment.

    That's all I can say on issue but I believe we need to have an open mind. Just because it's Najib's baby doesn't mean we should (like most PKR people) attack without having facts and figures to examine - I believe Lim Kit Siang has shown the correct example by demanding for those.

  4. I haven't been paying much attention to this latest crossover issue, but I've been watching PAS for a long time.

    Actually, though I disagree with their policies, I have developed a grudging respect for them over the years. They have always been quite consistent and principled in their adherence to their espoused Islamic stand - the cost in support from non-Muslims and secular-minded Malays is well known.

    I don't agree that UMNO can be discribed as "WYSIWYG warts and all". They sing a very different tune during election time, especially in racially mixed constituencies, from during their Annual Assembly or in closed door divisional meetings. In conjunction with their MCA and MIC colleagues, they have been able to successfully confuse the non-Malay electorate for years, until March 8, that is.

  5. On to the Eurocopter deal.
    I'm not really an aviation buff, but I have no doubt the Eurocopter is a technically superior choice to the MI-172. I've long ago dismissed Zahar Hashim's criticisms as sour grapes.

    My concern is the seeming lack of propriety in how the contract was awarded and the cost. I wrote a long post on this earlier. As a retired Corporate decision maker, I'm well aware of the standards of integrity and transparency required of major purchasing decisions. Its no use hiding behind the excuse of secrecy. Many democracies have worked out ways to ensure major defence purchase decisions can stand up to Parliamentary scrutiny, without compromising classified technical data. Telling the public the Entire decision making process is secret and off-limits to public review is Bull-Shit.

    I'm very dissapointed with Najib. As a UK-trained technocrat and with all years experience in Government, I thought he had the capability to stand up to the Anwar Ibrahim storm. But much of what comes from him carries the stench of impropriety. It may not be him, more of people around him, but he is associated with it.

    Eurocopter, IJN, Perimekar (I have my own sources about Perimekar - I don't need to believe Raja Petra), etc. etc.

    If Najib carries on like this...I'm afraid BN is need for G.A.N....

  6. I think you are seriously wrong to assume he is a case of 'sour grape". Without access to information, you are not to blame.

    There is serious discrepencies and Eurocopter has Pak Lah's hand in the cookie jar. Last kopek brader.

    Kapt Zahar's concern is valid. There were discrepencies in the process. Do read in full the letter he send to Najib.

    He is also responsible for the letter claiming Pak Lah bribed kain pelikat to UMNO branch invitee to briefing that later was made into a ACA report by Dato Mazlan Harun. However, he is no Mother Theresa.

    In fact, he is a Theresa Kok. He talks about others but di dnot reveal the whole picture. Just like Theresa Kok cock a doodled about getting only eggs, but was offered other choices of takeaway food.

    Don't ask further, I know and I can't reveal where I know this. You are entitled to not believe but lets talk of Kapt Zahar.

    Kapt Zahar holds control over his UMNO PJS Division like a true warlord. He is a practitioner of money politics. Most of the committee members, and head of the various wings work for him.

    To maintain control, he planted lots of phantom UMNO branches all over PJ Selatan. He finance the Division single handedly.

    Is he really for the PAS's cause? No.

    He left for PAS to get even for his suspension. It was only recent months, Kapt Zahar defended his Division Head post and was trying to secure nomination for an UMNO Council membership seat.

    He has no ideological issue with UMNO and not a PAS member material.

    PAS can wrestle the Kg Medan ADUN post from Haniza Talha, RPK's former assitance for MT and current Asst or perhaps the Speaker for Selangor DUN. She does not have sufficient grassroot and machinery to service the area and had rely on PAS.

    The PAS people are slowly withdrawing support. Kapt Zahar will be strategically useful for PAS there. This is how he will get even with Najib.

    There is more twist and turn. But that will be all for now.

  7. Hi KT,

    Zahar would have been a priceless frogy if he were an ADUN or MP. But he is neither, so he is just a useless frog after all. Only good for window dressing or cosmetic purposes.

  8. Observer

    Are you sure Najib is UK trained?

    Is there an undergraduate degree back then in Industrial Economics in Notingham University when he was there?