Otherwise, billions already paid out amount to nothing.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the government had “no choice” but to take over the troubled Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS) in order to complete the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project the firm has failed to deliver.
He said the alternative would be to see the billions of ringgit already paid out for the crucial defence project amount to nothing.
“A complete statement will be released, because there are projects that must be completed, including LCS.
“We have no choice, we have spent RM6 billion, we can’t close, we have to take over to complete the project,” he told reporters after attending the National Book Festival at World Trade Centre (WTCKL) today.
Yesterday, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said that the Finance Ministry has formed a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to acquire BNS to complete the delayed LCS project at a reduced scale.
Mohamad said the LCS project will still come under the Project Monitoring Committee (PMC) jointly chaired by the Treasury secretary-general and the Defence Ministry (Mindef) secretary-general.
In 2011, BNS won a RM9 billion contract to provide six LCS to the Royal Malaysian Navy, which were initially meant to be delivered starting in 2019.
In 2018, the short-lived Pakatan Harapan government formed a special committee to investigate the contract, which eventually discovered that over RM6 billion had already been paid out from the total contract amount even before a single vessel was delivered.
A forensic audit was also commissioned the same year on Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation Bhd (BHIC), the parent of BNS, which eventually led to criminal breach-of-trust charges against former BNS managing director, Tan Sri Ahmad Ramli Mohd Nor, last year. – MMO