SHAH ALAM: Senior Defence Minister DS Hishammuddin Hussein on September 1 announced that the French government had given its commitment for the completion of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project. He made the announcement after meeting a representative of the French government at his office at Jalan Padang Tembak. He did not identify the representative who gave a written letter to him.
The release from the minister:
Pertemuan bersama pihak Kerajaan Perancis hari ini memberi tumpuan terhadap komitmen antara Kerajaan kedua-dua negara berhubung perolehan Littoral Combat Ship
Seperkara yang cukup penting, Kerajaan Perancis sendiri telah menyatakan bahawa meneruskan dan menyiapkan LCS merupakan keutamaan tertinggi Kerajaan Perancis.
Ini merupakan perkembangan yang mustahak terutama di fasa mobilisasi enam bulan seperti diputuskan Jemaah Menteri April lalu.
Malah komitmen Kerajaan Perancis ini juga selari dengan syor beberapa pihak terutamanya Jawatankuasa Kira-Kira Wang Negara (PAC) serta keputusan Jemaah Menteri supaya projek LCS diteruskan demi kepentingan Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia
Despite the announcement, we have yet to be given an exact date of the resumption of the project. Based on the six-month remobilisation period as announced last April, we should be getting a firm announcement on the project resumption soon. This could be announced on October 7 when the 2023 national budget is expected to be tabled in Parliament.
Despite the commitment from the French government, I am still off the opinion that we should scrapped the LCS project altogether. The reports by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) clearly showed that the project is no longer viable. And despite claim by the minister that the project must continue in the interest of the Royal Malaysian Navy, it is clearly not. It is in the interest of the government that they showed something for the billions (whatever the final tally is) squandered on it. Of course, RMN is still following the official line.
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