PAC lauds declassification of LCS report but warns against redactions to ‘protect govt interests’

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 10 — Public Accounts Committee chairman Wong Kah Woh welcomed the government’s move to declassify the 2019 littoral combat ship forensic audit report but insisted the document be released in its entirety.

In a statement today, the Ipoh Timor MP also said the declassification and announcement that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) would investigate were consistent with the PAC’s recommendations.

“The PAC would like to remind the government and stress that the declassification must be complete, and not like in the Governance, Procurement and Government Finance Inquiry Committee (JKSTUPKK) report for AES Project where many parts were redacted in the name of ‘protecting the government’s interest’,” he said, referring to the Automated Enforcement System.

Wong also said the Cabinet’s decision also demonstrated the importance of the PAC’s work in ensuring the proper use of taxpayers’ funds in government spending.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the Cabinet has agreed to declassify the 2019 LCS forensic audit report and for those responsible to be prosecuted if there was evidence of wrongdoing.

However, he said both moves were subject to the review of the attorney general and auditor-general.

Earlier this month, PAC said that cost overruns for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project have reached RM1.4 billion, including RM400 million used to pay old debts from an older patrol vessel project.

The committee added that 15 per cent of the equipment for the LCS project worth RM1.7 billion has also become obsolete after excessive storage.

The RM9 billion LCS project is the largest procurement in the history of Defence Ministry.

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.