Rafizi dares minister to sue him, Boustead Heavy Industries, and audit firm for exposing links to LCS scandal if untrue

·3-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 — Saying mere denials are not enough, PKR’s Rafizi Ramli today challenged Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad to sue him and two companies that named the minister in their littoral combat ship (LCS) procurement investigative reports for defamation.

The PKR deputy president was responding to Dr Abdul Latiff’s latest Facebook post this morning denying again that he was married to a woman named Zainab Mohd Salleh or having any links to the naval procurement assets.

“If Dr Latiff has nothing to do with Zainab Mohd Salleh and he (or his family) are not involved with the LCS project contracts or naval defence, he should immediately file a lawsuit against BHIC (the owner of the LCS forensic report), Alliance Alliance IFA (M) Sdn Bhd (the BHIC appointed auditor that investigated the LCS project) and me (who exposed this matter),” Rafizi said in a statement.

BHIC refers to Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Berhad.

“If no immediate action is taken, I am confident Dr Latiff will drag his party Bersatu to defeat in GE15 because Malaysians will punish the parties that protect these characters involved in the LCS scandal,” he added.

The former Pandan MP said the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of special functions has not rebutted any of the assertions in official documents that suggested his complicity in the LCS project contracts.

Rafizi also said that Dr Abdul Latiff did not address the forensic report findings that Mega P Asia Sdn Bhd was a company controlled by Zainab that had been awarded the naval defence contracts or that records from the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) showed they were joint owners of the company.

“Dr Abdul Latiff’s Facebook denial is akin to accusing SSM of cheating,” he said.

He added that Dr Abdul Latiff’s mere denials were simply a page from the playbook adopted by Umno and former Umno politicians who have since crossed over to Bersatu when accused of corruption.

Rafizi named jailed former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak as an example of an Umno leader who had simply denied involvement in the 1MDB financial scandal in the early days, only to be proven wrong and found guilty in court.

Earlier today, Dr Abdul Latiff made a post on Facebook stating: "My wife, or among my wives, there is no person named Zainab Mohd Salleh.”

Rafizi had previously claimed in a statement that a person named Zainab Mohd Salleh was the second wife of Dr Abdul Latiff and the owner of an offshore company which LCS funds were funneled into.

The LCS project is said to be the largest defence procurement in Malaysia’s history with a total cost of RM9 billion.

The project to build six armed vessels capable of near-shore fighting reportedly began in 2013 and is supposed to be completed and delivered to the navy by end of next year.

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee released a report on August 8 that found the government had already paid RM6.083 billion to the contractor Boustead Naval Shipyard, with not a single vessel delivered despite cost overruns of RM1.4005 billion.