PAC chair tells Zahid ‘national security’ no excuse to cover up LCS scandal

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“National security” must not be used to hide wrongdoings.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will not allow any “cover-ups” in the name of “national security”, said Wong Kah Woh.

The PAC chairman said Malaysians will not be prevented from knowing how the government is spending taxpayers’ money by the excuse.

“PAC is responsible for investigating government matters and all proceedings are recorded verbatim like in the parliament hansard,” said Wong in a statement today.

He said all PAC reports are based on the confirmed statements of the witnesses.

“As such, I find Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s comments about how PAC should be more sensitive about the littoral combatant ships (LCS) issue puzzling.”

Wong said PAC fully recognised the need for discretion in its investigation but that “national security” must not be used to hide wrongdoings.

“The (lively) discussions among the public show just how much people want to know the truth about the LCS project.

Bernama

“As the PAC chairperson, I will not allow ‘national security’ to be abused to stop the people from knowing how their money is being spent,” said Wong.

Yesterday Zahid warned that the declassification of documents relating to the LCS project could threaten state secrets.

Zahid told Putrajaya to deal with the issue wisely and transparently and not to be influenced by public opinion.

“The Public Accounts Committee should be more sensitive when probing into the LCS case as it involves national security,” Zahid wote on Facebook.

Wong today said Zahid had appeared before the PAC on October 21 and that his statements were later sent back to the former defence minister for affirmation.

“For the record, Zahid did not amend or correct or ask for any redactions,” said Wong.

Wong said the PAC would have made the necessary redactions if there had been any sensitive information that was prejudicial to national interest as it had done in other cases.

On Sunday, Zahid said it was not right to pin the blame for the LCS scandal on him although he was the defence minister at the time.

Last week, PAC released its report on the LCS acquisition, noting that none of the six LCS ships have been delivered after government paying RM6 billion for them. – TMI