DAP’s Chin Tong calls for special parliamentary sitting to discuss on LCS scandal

·3-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — Johor Opposition leader Liew Chin Tong urged the government to call for a special parliamentary sitting to discuss the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project scandal.

He said it was important for the LCS project to move forward as the current federal government has a shelf life of fewer than 10 months left.

"The government should seek bipartisan consultation and solutions through a parliamentary committee, which the Dewan Rakyat as a whole will eventually endorse.

"The LCS is not going to be a short-term procurement. I am of the view that if we restart the LCS project now, 2026 is the earliest date the first ship can be delivered to the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN),” said Liew in a statement this afternoon.

The former deputy defence minister was commenting on the future of the LCS project and whether truth would prevail with the culprits punished, and when the defence assets would be delivered.

Liew, who is also the Perling assemblyman, added that the Cabinet should decide on next Wednesday (August 17) to call a special sitting of Dewan Rakyat before the end of August.

"At the same time, the Defence Minister (Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein) will be instructed to work out a plan for LCS and consult with the parties in Parliament through a parliamentary committee.

"When the Dewan Rakyat sits for the special sitting on LCS in late August, MPs must debate on the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) report on the LCS, the high-level committee headed by former auditor-general Tan Sri Ambrin Buang’s reports on the new generational patrol vessel (NGPV) and LCS, the forensic audit report on LCS by Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS) and a proposed bipartisan solution to move the LCS project forward,” said Liew.

He said for the sake of the RMN and Malaysia's national sovereignty, a bipartisan solution to the LCS project that will outlast the change of government in the next general election and beyond is crucial.

Liew said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob must ensure that Cabinet decisions are followed.

"At the Cabinet meeting on August 9, it was decided that Ambrin’s committee report and the BNS forensic audit report on LCS to be declassified."

He cautioned that if the reports are not declassified by the Defence Ministry by August 16, Ismail Sabri should sack Hishammuddin as the defence minister for insubordination.

"These two reports and other relevant documents should be declassified,” he said.

For instance, Liew said former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has confirmed that money from the LCS project was illegally siphoned to pay off debts incurred by BNS for the construction of the NGPV.

"Najib’s revelation means that the discussion of LCS would not be complete if facts from the NGPV project are not fully known to the public.

"I, therefore, call on the Cabinet to also declassify the report on NGPV,” he added.

Liew reminded that Malaysians must not allow the culprits to hide behind the veil of official secrets and national security to commit corruption on such a mammoth scale.

He pointed out that corruption in the procurement of defence assets is itself a threat to national security.

"Poorly-built defence equipment caused by corruption erodes the morale of our soldiers, adversely impacts combat capabilities of our forces, and compromises the safety of our men,” he said.