Dato Amin Shah bin Hj Omar Shah
Penang Shipbuilding Corporation Sdn. Bhd.
10th Floor Ming Building
Kuala Lumpur, 50250
Dear Amin Shah
We have learned in the newspapers that your payment of U.S. $100 million for the Danyard shipyard in Denmark is delayed. We can understand there are many reasons to reconsider that plan.
The Danyard shipyard has a special expertise in making naval vessels - the Standard Flex and the Osprey Class programme - and Malaysia wants to buy new naval vessels. After a delivery to Malaysia, you will most likely have other customers wanting to buy naval vessels from you.
Buying Danyard seems to be good business. You could let Danyard build the naval vessels and export them from Denmark to Malaysia, or copy Danyards drawings and build the ships in one of the many cheaper shipyards, you own.
But if you are planning to use the Danyard drawings to produce naval vessels at another place, you could get into serious trouble. The Standard Flex-ships are developed with the Danish Navy and the plans are therefore partly owned by the Danish government. Buying or just getting permission to use the plans outside Denmark will not be easy.
Surely you have heard, Denmark has laws to control the export of arms. No arms are to be exported to sensible areas.
The "Amnesty International Report 1997" claims this about Malaysia:
"Fourteen possible prisoners of conscience were detained without trial under the Internal Security Act (isa). An opposition member of parliament went on trial charged with sedition and publishing "false news". The head of a women's non-governmental organization faced imprisonment for publishing a report on ill-treatment in camps for detained migrant workers. It was reported that 71 detainees had died in migrant worker detention camps since 1992. Caning continued to be inflicted for a range of crimes. At least six people were sentenced to death and at least three were executed."
Many other possible customers in the area of Asia have a worse reputation than Malaysia - fx. Indonesia. If the Danish government decides against export, your plans would be worth nothing.
We are a peacegroup from Denmark, pacifists and against all military production. If we in any way by nonviolent means can stop export of naval vessels to Asia, we are going to do it. It is possible to stop such export in Denmark - even an allied NATO-member as Turkey is a forbidden area for export of Danish arms.
If you are planning to build naval vessels one way or other using the technology from Danyard, you are making a very risky investment.
But if you would like to invest in others of the products from Danyard - chemical tankers, container vessels, fast ferries, bulk carriers, ro-ro and other special purpose vessels - you are more than welcome.
Peace from Geert Grønnegard
Chairman of Aldrig Mere Krig
Danish section of War Resisters' International