Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) has emerged as the front runner to secure an RM4 billion contract to supply the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) with 18 light combat aircraft (LCA) but this is said to have triggered an investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), following a complaint by one of the unsuccessful bidders (China).

According to ” The Edge Market” RMAF had shortlisted KAI’s FA-50, India’s Tejas, and China’s JF-17 B fighter jets out of which JF-17B bid by China was for RM3.26 billion, and Indian bid for RM3.79 billion, yet contract was awarded to Korea that had bid RM4.02 billion which is was second most expensive bid after Russia that had offered its Mig-35 for RM6.50 Billion.

Malaysian Parliament has been dissolved which prevents the interim government from concluding any deal but the outgoing government had confirmed that the success of its tender submission for the FA-50 Block 20 to the Ministry of Defence appeared “positive”. Chinese officials through its local consultant have asked why a caretaker government had approved a defense contract, as it does not have the legitimate mandate to exercise such a function.

China’s local consultant also claimed that the evaluation process for the first international open tender for military aircraft appeared to be unfair. A defense industry analyst says multi-billion ringgit contracts as costly as RM4 billion will be up for review once a new government steps in. However, should the caretaker government be re-elected in GE15, then a review of the award is unlikely.