Navy welcomes PAC scrutiny into littoral combat ships, hopes for best resolution to safeguard Malaysia’s sovereignty

·2-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 6 ― The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) expressed its relief today that the government will continue to provide it with a fleet of littoral combat ships (LCS) despite cost overruns.

It stressed that the LCS is a critical asset for the country’s safety and sovereignty.

“RMN needs combat capabilities that are in line with the regional security geostratetic and geopolitical development landscape,” it said in a statement.

At the same time, the RMN took note of the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) recent report on the LCS project tabled in Parliament earlier this week.

It welcomes the parliamentary oversight body’s recommendations, saying it wants only the best resolution in the implementation of the LCS project.

“RMN wishes to state our full support that any leakages in the project will fully investigated and those involved will be brought to justice as soon as possible,” it said.

It said that the delay in getting the ships has already had a negative impact on its combat capabilities as well as the morale of naval personnel in dispensing their responsibilities.

“In view of this, the RMN calls on all parties to work together and give their full support for the implementation of this project to protect the safety and sovereignty of the country,” it said.

The LCS project is the largest procurement in the history of Malaysia’s Defence Ministry undertaken in 2013 at a total cost of RM9 billion with six vessels expected to be built and delivered to the RMN by the end of 2023.

In its August 4 report to Parliament, the PAC said it found that the Defence Ministry had overspent some RM1.4 billion on the LCS project, and used RM400 million of the government allocation to settle other old debts instead.

The PAC also noted that not a single ship had been completed by the company awarded the contract through direct negotiations ― Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Boustead Holdings Bhd.

The PAC proposed that the government declassify the reports related to the procurement of LCS ships for public scrutiny.

The PAC also urged the ministry to provide it with a progress report every three months until the LCS project’s completion.

It further suggested that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission initiate prosecution against those involved in the matter.

Yesterday, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the LCS project will continue.

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