Monday, March 8, 2021

PAC to call Zahid to complete probe into non-delivery of combat ships

Former Royal Malaysian Navy chief Abdul Aziz Jaafar and project contractor Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd will also be called.

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Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will call former defence minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi early next month to complete its proceedings regarding the non-delivery of six littoral combat ships (LCS) to the navy.

PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh said former Royal Malaysian Navy chief Abdul Aziz Jaafar and the main contractor of the LCS project, Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) Sdn Bhd, would also be called.

“The appointment of BNS Sdn Bhd was made through direct negotiation, and as of October this year, RM6.083 billion had been paid but none of the LCS has been built.

“According to the schedule, two LCS should have been built by now,” he told a press conference at the Dewan Rakyat today.

Wong said the issue was reported in the Auditor-General’s Report 2019 Series 1 and the Governance, Procurement and Finance Investigation Committee (JKSTUPKK) Investigation Report published last year

He said PAC would also visit the LCS shipyard in Lumut, Perak next month.

“PAC views seriously the issue of the non-delivery of the six LCS involving the defence ministry (Mindef) and a procurement value of RM9 billion… as it reflects weaknesses in terms of governance, procurement and finance, which will give a negative impact on national security and defence,” he said.

Wong said PAC was also of the opinion that a decision on the issue must be made by the government as soon as possible, hence the need for the committee to complete the proceedings and to table its report at the Dewan Rakyat.

He said several witnesses had been called at the four meetings and proceedings conducted so far, including Auditor-General Nik Azman Nik Abdul Majid, Mindef Secretary-General Muez Abdul Aziz, and JKSTUPKK chairman Ambrin Buang.

“PAC plans to complete and table its report on this issue at the Dewan Rakyat by March 2021,” he added.

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