Malaysia still considering possible Rafale purchase: PM Najib


PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia is still looking into the possibility of purchasing Dassault Aviation's Rafale multi-role fighter aircraft, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

He said the matter was raised during a meeting, in conjunction with French President François Hollande's state visit today, but without any definite decision.

"Part of the talk (meeting) today revolved around possibilities in terms of acquiring French defence equipment including the Rafale,"

"Although Malaysia is not ready yet (to purchase the aircraft), it will take note of the aircraft's success in several countries," Najib said.

"We will take note of the possibility of that particular aircraft being the subject of cooperation and collaboration in those countries as well."

Hollande arrived yesterday for a two-day state visit to Malaysia.

Najib also said the France's PSA Peugeot Citroen, the French automobile producer was still conducting serious negotiations with Proton on possible partnership.

"Decisions have yet to be concluded yet but (there) could be a possibility," he added.

Najib also thanked Hollande for not agreeing to the bill to tax Malaysia's palm oil.

"This is a huge encouragement to Malaysia. I have talked to him on the importance of palm oil,

"And Malaysia will also ensure that it is environmentally friendly and achieve a balance development in this country," he added.

Hollande's visit was the second presidential-level visit from France to Malaysia after Jacques Chirac's state visit in July 2003.

Earlier, Najib and the French president witnessed the signing of two agreements on defence and agriculture.