SHAH ALAM: Show me the money. Defence Minister DS Ismail Sabri visited the Lumut naval base on Nov.15 where he spend some time being briefed on the RMN activities there apart from visiting the various navy units headquartered there. He also visited the Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd, located adjacent to the naval base and Gading Marine Shipyard Sdn Bhd facility, also located in Lumut.
This is what the ministry’s post had to say about the BNS visit.
Seterusnya, beliau bersama delegasi telah dibawa ke Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn. Bhd (BNSSB) untuk melihat dan meninjau perkembangan Kapal Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) serta beberapa kapal LCS lain.
Which is basically nothing really, even though the LCS is the biggest elephant in the room. The minister also did not touched on the project on his interview on Bernama regarding the budget. Perhaps it was not his fault as the interviewer had asked specifically on the MD530G helicopters instead of the elephant in the room. That said, it may well be the only thing that the officials had given the greenlight for the interviewer to ask the minister. My friend had this to say about the minister “Ismail Sabri had done nothing wrong so far as the defence minister as he had not done thing really.
Anyhow what this got to do with the title anyway? It is simple really. As you are aware BNS needs money to complete the project – some RM3 billion to complete the first two ships and another RM3 billion for the other four, according to this report.
Ismail had already said the ministry was waiting the decision from the Cabinet on whether or not to continue with the project. From this reports, we already know the reasons behind the delays into the project, its the money or the lack of it.
BNS cannot complete the project without the money it is asking and thats been the case for the last 32 months. Yes you heard about the technical issues with the ships – with people claiming its either RMN or BNS fault – but its really about the money. If they – BNS – got the money they are asking for of course, the technical issues could be resolved. Yes, its that simple, really. Will the extra allocation being asked will go higher than the RM9 billion ceiling price? Of course it will be, that’s the reason the current and previous governments are/were holding up the funds.
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