LCS scandal: Sue me if Zainab isn’t your wife, Rafizi challenges Abdul Latiff

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Rafizi claims Latiff’s Facebook denial is akin to accusing SSM of cheating.

Rafizi Ramli has challenged Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad to take legal action against him, Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation (BHIC) and Alliance IFA (M) Sdn Bhd over the RM9 million controversial littoral combat ships (LCS) project.

The PKR deputy president said that Abdul Latiff, who is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Tasks), should sue if the allegation – that the woman who misappropriated funds for the project is his second wife – is false.

“If Abdul Latiff has nothing to do with Zainab Mohd Salleh and if he (or his family) is not involved with the LCS project contracts or the national sea defence, he needs to immediately take legal action against BHIC, Alliance IFA (M) Sdn Bhd (the auditor appointed by BHIC to investigate the LCS ship project) and me (who disclosed the information),” he said in a statement on Friday (Aug 26).

On Aug 22, PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli had named Abdul Latiff as another key player in the LCS scandal.

Rafizi alleged that companies linked to the supposed second wife of a former deputy defence minister were involved in the LCS scandal.

Earlier on Friday (Aug 26), Abdul Latiff said none of his family members was involved in businesses involving the supply or construction of the LCS project.

He also denied allegations that his wife or wives were involved in the scandal.

“I have no wife or wives named Zainab Mohd Salleh.

Bernama

“None of my family members is involved in business involving the supply or construction of LCS,” he said in a Facebook post.

Rafizi said that Latiff did not address the forensic report findings that Mega P Asia Sdn Bhd was a company controlled by Zainab that had been awarded the naval defence contracts or that records from the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) showed they were joint owners of the company.

“Dr Abdul Latiff’s Facebook denial is akin to accusing SSM of cheating,” he said.

He added that Latiff’s mere denials were simply a page from the playbook adopted by Umno and former Umno politicians who have since crossed over to Bersatu when accused of corruption.

Rafizi named jailed former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak as an example of an Umno leader who had simply denied involvement in the 1MDB financial scandal in the early days, only to be proven wrong and found guilty in court.

The LCS project is said to be the largest defence procurement in Malaysia’s history with a total cost of RM9 billion.

The project to build six armed vessels capable of near-shore fighting reportedly began in 2013 and is supposed to be completed and delivered to the navy by end of next year.

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee released a report on August 8 that found the government had already paid RM6.083 billion to the contractor Boustead Naval Shipyard, with not a single vessel delivered despite cost overruns of RM1.4005 billion.