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Brigadier General Date Lau Kong Cheng who had a long career as a fighter pilot in Royal Malaysian Air Force has slammed his government and claimed in local Malaysian media that the proper Open International Tender process for the 2 systems is not adhered to and has been deviously aimed and manipulated towards selecting pre-determined systems i.e. Anka UAS [drones] and FA-50 FLIT-LCA [aircraft].

Cheng said that this has prevented all Tender bidders from Fair, Transparent, and Professional Evaluation and Comparisons of their Tender bid systems. These unscrupulous decisions and collaborated actions amount to an abuse of power and are indications of corrupt practices. These treacherous actions, if not prevented may result in the nation being denied the choice of the best performing, most value for money, cost-effective, and long-term viable systems for future credible defense.

Cheng alleged pre-selection of the preferred bidders occurred, he says, despite a public pretense at operating an open international tendering exercise in line with the reforms introduced by the previous Pakatan Harapan government. Cheng said that selection of Korean FA-50 FLIT-LCA for the supply of 18 FLIT LCAs goes against a global tender issued by RMAF that was rigged to favor Koreans and other offers from other bidders were ignored even when they were far cheaper and had came with more features.

China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC) represented by Brigadier General Lau also said that the aircraft demonstrably JF-17 was superior in terms of the specifications required and its bid is RM1.5 billion cheaper, priced at RM6.5 billion rather than RM8 billion for the 36 aircraft.

HAL Remains Mum

While State-owned HAL offered its LCA-Tejas Mk1 fighter jet has remained mum on the whole controversy but it has come as valuable lessons for the company as its plans to reorient its LCA-Tejas offering as a LIFT platform in Export Market and now plans to develop new HLFT-42 LIFT aircraft with conventional design to lower production cost due to all metal composition of the airframe and to also improve indigenization content in the aircraft.

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