Cowgate and the PV fiasco

PETALING JAYA: Now that the action against National Feedlot Corporation is inching forward, I sincerely hope that a probe on the Patrol Vessel project and its former top officials would also begin immediately.

This is not first time I had asked for an investigation on the PV project but since we are talking about the need to be transparent on such matters and with the apparent effectiveness of the Anti Money Laundering Act 2001 to investigate dirty tricks, it is the best time to stir up some panties.

The NFC fiasco is peanuts compared to the PV project. The PV project originally started at RM5.35 billion and we, the tax payers ended up forking at least another RM4 billion to complete the project.

And like Cowgate, the whole affair of PV had already been laid bare by the Auditor General’s 2006 report. In fact, all the alleged wrong-doings at NFC are eerily similar at the PSC-Naval Dockyard Sdn Sdn Bhd, the company given the contract to build the PVs.

From the Auditor Report:
Bagi melaksanakan perolehan PV, peruntukan berjumlah RM5.35 bilion telah diluluskan daripada RM5.49 bilion yang dipohon. Daripada jumlah yang diluluskan, sejumlah RM4.47 bilion atau 83.6% telah dibelanjakan. Jumlah tersebut adalah termasuk RM1.07 bilion bagi bayaran wang pendahuluan kepada syarikat PSCNDSB dan RM217.27 juta bagi menjelaskan tuntutan Commercial Package
Achievement Fee.

Read the whole report. Here

Like the NFC fiasco, the whole shambolic fiasco of the PV project happened under the watch of many powerful people. If the probe uncovered the link between these people and saudara Amin Shah, so be it.

I might add that if a probe had been done on the PV project following the publication of the 2006 AG report, and throw the book at the people involved, it is likely that the Cowgate episode would not have occurred at all.

We will also not be debating about the value of the SGPV project also.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2147 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. What a lost. We lose another ship that will be hard to replace in this current situation to a very gross negligence. A very pity to us all.

  2. It’s at MMHE, not MSET.

    As to the NGPV, I thought the additional funds channelled was 1.4 bil, not 4 bil. From my readings, the total cost of the project went up from 5.35 to 6.75B.

    From the AG report it stated that they needed an additional RM1.2 billion to complete the project. But I am told that the full amount was more than RM9 billion. That’s why need to have an inquiry to determine the exact amount

  3. The shroud of defence secrecy would be invoked. So cant investigate no wrong

    The project is completed, there is nothing to hide apart from the miscreants

  4. the obvious fiasco is PV project for ATM, sure if we dig deeper maybe all kind of worms will come out from the cans of 1970s,80s,90s and the new century…malaysia boleh!boleh apa? boleh…owh.

    Most of the deals back in 70s and 80s were kosher, though commissions may have been paid but after that….

  5. Wow to burn for 4 hours, the damage must be devastating. Any further reports of the extent of the damage? Wonder why was it docked in MMHE for refurbishment? I thought the ship was stationed in Lumut. Did Boustead shipyard sub-con the job to MMHE? What a shame…

    They open tender such services to all dockyards…

  6. Yes, what I understand is that the First Right of Refusal given to the Lumut dockyard had expired and the RMN is now free to award to other shipyards based on competitive bidding. Also, initial feedback I received from some friends is that nearly 80% of the ship suffered fire damage, including the chart room, the heart of the ship. Thus, if this is true, it is most probably a total loss case. Info is however subject to verification!

  7. Re: KD Mutiara

    I guarantee that behind the scenes there is already scheming to offer a replacement. Of course it will be ‘locally-built’, ‘build our expertise’, ‘stimulate the economy’, etc. If we believe everything they say, it may even fly! Of course, the reality will be that it will take twice as long to build as promised, cost 3 times as much as initially estimated and only do a fraction of what a decent survey vessel should do.

    If we really get into conspiracy theories, maybe someone burned the ship in order to provide such an opportunity! (Just pure sarcasm!)

  8. No worries… Another round for either open tender for new ship or lease of ship for similar purposes. I wonder who’ll get the ‘cut’ if they go for the 2nd option. Biasalah……

  9. What!!! U mean they just hand the ship over to be refurbished to the lowest bidder… No wonder it caught fire. What about expertise or capabilities??? Do they meet the safety standards when they carry out the refurbishment job? Any idea of how the tender was handled? As the same goes, another round of tender and the cheapest bidder would get to build the new KD Mutiara. Yeah!!!

    Its not being the lowest that matters, some – without any capabilities or even facilities – had won government contracts before even if their bid are the highest. Its who you know and not what your know!

  10. MMHE is classified as a Class A shipyard, same as Boustead Lumut yard. So, I guess from a facility and technical capability, the 2 yards should be similar. The main difference I see is that Boustead is well experienced in doing navy shiprepair, with extensive facilities to carry out electronics and weapons work. In addition, the workers and subcontractors are also conversant in the complexities and idiosyncracies associated with naval work, e.g. very confined spaces stuffed with pipes, cables, aircond ducts, etc. Compared to commercial ships and oil & gas structures, naval ships are a totally different animal. Go on board one of the Laksamana-class corvettes to have a feel! I was told that you have to cut the shipside to remove a cylinder head from the main engine!

    Who rate this shipyards? the Air Force got the DGTA to review such facilities. Does RMN have a similar body?

  11. As far as I understand, it is a classification by the MOF. Who or which party exactly within MOF that does this is unknown to me! Tariff rates paid out for repair works differ depending on the yard class. This classification is also applied to all other Governmental agencies, e.g. MMEA, Customs, Marine Dept. etc.

    So in a sense that means anyone who can get the MOF approval to be part of the procurement process can bid for such tenders…

  12. I believe so. In any case, from what I understand, RMN capital ships are only sent to class A yards. However, class A yards can compete for lower classes but they would have to reduce their prices in order to match.

    Notwithstanding the above, I believe the RMN is taking a big risk in sending their ships to shipyards with less or no experience dealing in naval ship-repair.

    tell that to the ship yard owners, they will say that the big yards already control everything else, they should be given opportunity to go into such ventures. As for me, I had said before that we have too many ship yards for such a small fleet. But some people say its good to have competition, it will force every body to buck up. of course, they forgot the fact, that we are deficient in skilled manpower and funds, so every body is chasing the same people and the same money without really getting any worthwhile capabilities. The national interest overrides everything else to the detrimental of the armed forces.

  13. Your statement that we have a very limited pool of skilled labour is very, very true. My view is that the powers-that-be should formulate a policy to limit the number of yards that could participate in carrying out naval ship repair.

    In any case, I believe there are many small yards that are in operation that support the Navy fleet, especially in East Malaysia. However, my earlier point that sending navy ships to yards without the necessary experience to handle naval ship repair is not a good move has been proven recently by the fire experienced on KD PAUS in East Malaysia and on KD MUTIARA at MMHE.

    And Inderapura for the first fire. She had just came back from a paint job from a yard around Lumut when she caught fire. The repairs from the fire done at BNS at a cost more than what we pay to the US. BNS officials after the fire was very critical of the decision to sent Inderapura to other yard, its name was never mentioned. Apparently they bid for the paint job and lost but got the job to repair the ship after the fire. Conspiracy theorists live on this kind of stories

  14. I wonder if KD LAKSAMANA TAN PUSMAH will proceed with her refit at MMHE. I understand that the ship is already there in the Pasir Gudang yard.

  15. If I’m not mistaken, this was the same yard where KD Marikh and KD Mahawangsa were built.

    Most of their experienced workers were pinched by PSC NDSB for the PV project. I am not sure whether many of them had returned to the yard

  16. I admit that I am not overly versed in naval procedure, but doesn’t the RMN retain a skeleton crew with the ship at all times, even when undergoing repairs? It would make sense to me that a security detail would be assigned to the ship even when it was not in service. What happened to fire watch? There should have been RMN personnel patrolling the entire ship 24 hours a day, even while the ship was in a private yard.

    Lastly, are basic worksite safety measuers being followed? All ‘hot work’, such as soldering, welding, etc., should require a permit to be issued stating where the work will be conducted, the time it will begin and end, who will be doing the work, etc. When the work is completed the permit should be signed off by the worker; and at least a full hour later the security detail should check the site for any remaining danger. These are basic worksite safety measures that likely would have prevented the disaster or at least minimized its effect.

  17. I believe only KD MARIKH was built at MMHE. KD MAHAWANGSA was built in Korea. As to the workers, many were pinched by Naval Dockyard as it was known in 1996 but most returned to MMHE (then known as MSE) as they could not adapt to naval ship repair. From what I gather from my sources (another little bird!), only a handful stayed on.

    I met one of the guys from MSE when I visited in NDSB around 2003/2004. I cannot remember his name already, but I was told that he was one of the few Malaysians who qualified as a ship designer. I have no idea where he is now. I am told many of the people hired by NDSB were sent to Germany to learn maritime engineering and ship repair. Some were not supposed to work at NDSB because they were sent to Germany as favours…

  18. Wow…quite a sum of conspiracy tales huh? Agreed with Api, RMN and MMEA ships (ex RMN) still have ship repair support from shipyards of Borneo, eyeballed them in dry dock in Kuching and tied alongside in Miri. I wonder why MMHE or BNS did not setup a RMN/MMEA dedicated facility over in Borneo?

    They got Labuan shipyard but it was set-up to built ships…

  19. Api,

    You’re right, my mistake, KD Mahawangsa was built in a South Korean shipyard. And unlike her sister which was built by Bremen Vulkan has supposedly less than ideal sea keeping qualities.

  20. Actually Labuan is more suited for oil & gas and commercial shipbuilding (old style!). I wonder whether there are any CNC plasma cutters and CNC bending machines there, not to mention special test equipment for electronics.

    As to the guys from MSE at NDSB, once upon a time, NDSB had the most number of naval architects compared to any other organization in Malaysia. Now, I understand most of them have left, leaving a handful of experienced guys with lots of young engineers. Some have gone into business and providing service to Boustead as subcontractors. I believe Boustead is turning into the ‘old’ MSE, i.e. Malaysia School of Engineering! LOL

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