Kit Siang urges MACC to investigate purchase of LCS

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The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) must investigate the alleged mismanagement and discrepancies in the Defence Ministry’s procurement of littoral combat ships (LCS), Lim Kit Siang said today.

  • RM6 billion loss on the procurement of the ships
  • Zahid dismissed the navy’s pick on the design of the LCS
  • Zahid picked the French designed ships of the same shipbuilder linked to another controversial navy procurement – the Scorpene submarine
  • Decision-making process in the LCS procurement “gravely wrong”

The Iskandar Puteri MP said “the ball is in the MACC’s court now to investigate each and every aspect of the spending and tell the people whether the money was actually siphoned off and who had eventually benefited from it”.

“Can MACC Chief Commissioner Azam Baki tell Malaysians what the agency is doing about the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report, as well as to explain why it had not acted earlier?” the DAP veteran asked in a statement.

“It is sad to see how the government has again failed Malaysians, with another mega scandal exposing a loss of RM6 billion,” Lim added.

The PAC yesterday tabled its report on the RM6 billion loss on the procurement of the ships.

Lim also said the scandal had proven Azam was wrong when he dismissed Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index as mere perception and not facts.

He further asked former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to explain why he dismissed the navy’s pick on the design of the LCS.

Zahid, the defence minister at the time, was named in the PAC report for his decision to choose the Gowind design by the French Naval Group against the wishes of the navy that favoured the Sigma design by the Dutch Damen Group.

Lim said Zahid picking the French designed ships raised questions, following the realisation that the French Naval Group was the same shipbuilder linked to another controversial navy procurement – the Scorpene submarine.

The French Naval Group was formerly known as DCNS.

Lim said Zahid owes the nation an explanation on why he made such a decision favouring the French.

“This is an issue involving national security and the navy are the ones who go to war using the LCS.

“What had driven Zahid to ignore the letters of protest sent by Dr Abdul Aziz Jaafar, which put the navy’s and the nation’s interests at stake?”

Aziz was the then navy chief.

“This is a case where the defence minister was guilty of disregarding the defence interests of the country,” Lim said.

In the PAC report, it was stated that Aziz had described the decision-making process in the LCS procurement as “gravely wrong”.

“The PAC report has told us that “everything is wrong” in the RM9 billion LCS project – from the appointment of contractor, the choice of the design of the vessel to how the taxpayers’ monies were spent, burnt and squandered,” Lim added.

The report stated RM400 million had been used by the Malaysian company contracted to build the ships in Malaysia to pay off its old debt, RM305 million to build a centre in Cyberjaya, which is unrelated to ship-building, and RM700 million classified as cost-overrun by the contractor. – TMI