DAP: Najib, Zahid must be held responsible for LCS scandal

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Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak and then defence minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi must be held responsible for the littoral combat ship (LCS) project scandal, said DAP publicity secretary Teo Nie Ching.

“This is true as a whopping RM1.02 billion was paid to mobilise the project without any deliverables in the RM9 billion project,” she said in a statement today.

Earlier this month, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) revealed that the country’s largest defence procurement, worth RM9 billion, for six LCS vessels was in shambles.

The then BN government announced the multi-billion-ringgit project in 2011 to build six second-generation patrol vessels for the Royal Malaysian Navy.

But the PAC’s report showed that since the project’s contract took effect in 2013, the government has paid more than RM6 billion without having a single vessel delivered.

It was also revealed that the LCS was based on a model not chosen by the navy despite it being the end-user. As such, the cabinet declassified a forensic audit report on the project by the Special Investigation Committee on Public Governance, Procurement and Finance (JKSTUPKK) on Aug 17.

Bernama

Najib, on the other hand, constantly accused the previous Pakatan Harapan administration of the delay, citing the stop-work order issued on 2018. Zahid claimed that he had not interfered in the project.

Bernama

However, the JKSTUPKK report indicated that Zahid did have a hand in changing the LCS specification.

Touching on the matter, Teo said the duo have yet to rebut the allegations levelled against them.

“One stunning disclosure in the report was that Boustead Naval Shipyard issued at least 12 letters of awards totalling RM5 billion between 2011 and 2014,” the Kulai MP said.

She added that RM1.94 billion or 40 percent of the contract value was paid as of 2014, in line with the LCS progress payment plan.

“An additional RM1.02 billion was also made in the name of ‘mobilisation payment’ without any deliverables.

Azneal Ishak/Malaysiakini

“It is clear to everyone that something is gravely wrong when a sum of RM1.02 billion out of the RM1.94 billion was paid without any clear benefit to the project,” Teo noted.

The DAP leader said the bulk of the RM1.02 billion was given to Naval Group and other dubious entities such as subcontractor Contraves Advanced Devices Sdn Bhd and Contraves Electrodynamics Sdn Bhd.

“Both Najib and Zahid must be held responsible for allowing the contract to be drafted in such a way where a huge sum of RM1.02 billion was allowed to be used in the name of ‘mobilisation payment’ without having any ships delivered,” she added. – Malaysiakini