Johor PKR lawmaker says LCS scandal is 'perfect storm' to unseat BN in GE15

·3-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

JOHOR BARU, Aug 9 — An outspoken Johor PKR parliamentarian today suggested that the multi-billion ringgit Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) scandal will be a “perfect storm” that can topple the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in the coming 15th general election (GE15).

Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim said the latest scandal, involving a cost of RM9 billion, will surface and have a big impact in the run-up to GE15, which is rumoured to be held soon.

“Those responsible in the alleged mismanagement of public funds in the LCS scandal are Umno’s main leaders as well as those under Barisan Nasional (BN).

“The issue of the LCS scandal, which was recently exposed, will attract a storm to collapse and topple Umno-BN once again in the upcoming general election,” said Hassan in a statement issued here today..

He was commenting on allegations of alleged mismanagement of funds in the construction of the LCS project, the largest procurement in the history of Ministry of Defence (Mindef) with a total cost of RM9 billion.

The contract for the project started back in 2013 and is expected to be completed within 10 years.

Hassan said that the LCS issue had resulted in both the BN and Perikatan Nasional (PN) administrations dealing with another issue allegedly involving corruption, criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and disposal of illegal monies.

He said such a development was surprising as RM6.083 billion belonging to the people had been used to pay for the RM9 billion contract for five LCS for the Malaysian Navy since 2011.

“However until today, not even one LCS has been completed and delivered.

“The scandal will be the “latest wave” that will destroy BN just like the national issues that hit just before the previous GE13 and GE14,” said the social activist and lawyer.

Hassan, who is also a member of the Malaysian Election Commission’s Special Committee on Corruption, reminded that back in 2013 during GE13, the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal involving RM250 million was exposed.

“In that particular scandal, the government’s project for cattle rearing failed. The money misused to purchase luxury condos instead.

“As a result, the people were angry and Umno-BN lost five states and also failed to secure two-thirds majority in Parliament,” he said.

Hassan also pointed out that in 2018, during the previous GE14, the nation was hit by the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal, which was the biggest kleptocracy scandals in history.

“As a result the people are angry again. The result is not only that Umno-BN lost in Johor, Melaka, Negri Sembilan, Selangor, Perak, Kedah, Penang, Kelantan, Terengganu and Sabah (in 2018), but also lost the federal power in Putrajaya to effectively became the Opposition,” he said.

The LCS issue had since created heated arguments on both sides of the political divide.

Last week, Senior Minister of Defence Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said that the PAC report and recommendations about the LCS scandal will be scrutinised by the Mindef.

PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh revealed that cost overruns for the LCS project totalled RM1.4 billion, with RM400 million used to pay old debts from an old patrol vessel project.

The said contract began in 2013 with a ten-year time frame and six LCS ships were expected to be built and delivered to the country by the end of 2023.

Last Thursday, the PAC stated innits repoet that the government had already paid RM6.083 billion for delivery of five LCS sea craft to BNS.

The deal was carried out through direct negotiations. However not a single ship has been delivered to the Malaysian Navy.

PAC chairman, Wong Kah Woh, revealed the cost overrun of the LCS project amounted to RM1.4 billion, with RM400 million used to pay off old debt from the old patrol boat project.