Malaysia Takes Delivery of First Submarine

Scorpene (Photo:

January 28, 2009, Kuala Lumpur -- Malaysia has taken delivery of its first submarine as part of a plan to establish a fleet of the vessels, according to the French company that built it.

The Royal Malaysian Navy received the Scorpene submarine in the French port of Toulon and a second is scheduled for delivery in late 2009, French contractor DCNS said in a statement late Tuesday (1/27).

It said the sub had completed its final sea trials in December, including the successful firing of torpedoes and missiles.

The sub's delivery again raised opposition claims that a 540 million ringgit ($149.5 million) commission was paid to a close associate of deputy premier Najib Razak in brokering the deal.

The deputy premier, who is slotted to take over as prime minister when Abdullah Ahmad Badawi steps down in March, has denied any improper involvement in the deal when he was defence minister.

But senior opposition leader Lim Kit Siang called on Malaysia's new anti-corruption commission to investigate the allegation. (

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