SHAH ALAM: The never ending story. Former Defence Minister DS Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has given his statements to the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee on the White Elephant, the RMN’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project. He gave the statement to the PAC today (Oct. 25).
From The Edge
PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh said Ahmad Zahid, the Member of Parliament for Bagan Datuk, who was the defence minister from April 10, 2009 to May 16, 2013, gave his statement for almost two hours on the issue, involving the biggest defence procurement in the history of the ministry.
Wong said Ahmad Zahid was the sixth witness called by the PAC over the issue after the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Muez Abdul Aziz, former Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) chief General (Rtd) Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar and Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) chief operating officer Low Kok Chiang.
“The PAC views this issue seriously because until October 2020, RM6.083 billion had been paid out but none of the LCS was completed although according to the schedule, two of the ships should have been built,” Wong said in a statement on Monday.
The issue was raised in the Auditor-General’s Report 2019 Series 1 (Compliance Auditing of Ministries/Federal Departments) and the Governance, Procurement and Government Financial Committee Investigation Report, Prime Minister’s Department, published in 2019.
Wong said to complete the investigation, the PAC also plans to visit the LCS dockyard owned by BNS in Lumut, Perak, with the date to be fixed.
Unfortunately, nothing in the statement has given us anything new on the LCS project. As I mentioned previously in the comments, we will be lucky if the first LCS is commissioned into service by 2025. For more on the LCS project, check out the various Malaysian Defence postings on the issue through-out the years.
It must be noted that we are coming up on seventh anniversary of the first steel cutting ceremony for the first LCS which was on Dec, 5, 2014.
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