SHAH ALAM: Abandon ship, scrap the LCS Part II. The forensic report on the LCS programme, first made public in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report was declassified yesterday. The declassified report is published on the Parlimen website.
You can go to the website above to read the whole report for yourself or you can go here to take a news report on it. There is no need to guess who were involved as it is likely the people will be formally identified (or charged themselves) when the CBT case against the former MD of Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation (BHIC) and Boustead Naval Shipyard goes to the trial stage.
Anyhow just like the other declassified report, this one also confirmed my believe that it is better to scrap the LCS project altogether and start anew, even with the LMS Batch II as a starting point. It will not replace the LCS of course but as I said earlier it will give us at least, its cost and timelines for delivery and commissioning.
If the JKSTUPKK report, had not convinced you that the LCS project is not worth saving, the declassified forensic report – although already excerpted in the PAC – will surely do it.
The forensic report alleged that officials of five companies – DCNS; MTU; CentraalStaal; Contraves Advanced Devices Sdn Bhd and Contraves Electrodynamics Sdn Bhd – involved in the LCS had colluded with officials of BHIC and BNS in financial shenanigans resulting in massive money drain and raising costs for the whole project.
It is likely that these shenanigans (whether BNS can deduct payments and take action against these officials, though its hand is weak as it happened due to its own officials involvement) will be a major contentious point during negotiations for the resumption of the LCS project and its delivery deadline in 2025. Their involvement in the project (four of them) is paramount that if they decided to withdraw completely, BNS is – for the lack of a better word – will be hanging in the air. (despite what the LTAT CEO has to say about it).
It is likely that the government will not abandon the LCS project, though. They will talk about companies and workers losing their income. It must be noted that most of the workers involved in the LCS project, especially those working with the sub-contractors have already been laid off as early as November 2019. Many will be wary to return their old jobs especially now. Again, it will be better for the government to pay off BNS debts and abandon the project altogether. It will be black mark as they will be spending at least RM11 billion with no ships in hand now than waiting for another two years for the same result. But of course, it will be a problem for the next guy.
— Malaysian Defence