- Advertisement -

Speaker rubbishes Kit Siang claim of 'delays' in combat ship report

Azhar Harun says neither he nor the Dewan Rakyat secretary delayed the presentation in their management of the House.

Ahmad Mustakim Zulkifli
2 minute read
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Harun.
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Harun.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Harun today denied efforts to deliberately hold up the presentation of a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report on the delay in the construction of a littoral combat ship (LCS) for the Royal Malaysian Navy (TLDM). 

He was responding to Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang, who had questioned the presentation date of the report. 

Lim said the last time PAC met on the matter was on March 8, and that the committee had 16 days to table its report during the Dewan Rakyat sitting which ended last week. 

"Somebody seems to be purposely procrastinating so that the PAC report on the LCS scandal did not get the public scrutiny and attention it deserves," he said. 

"Who is this somebody? An explanation is owed to Malaysians for the delay in tabling the LCS PAC report. Can the speaker of the Dewan Rakyat shine a light on the matter?"

But Azhar said neither he nor the Dewan Rakyat secretary had delayed the presentation in their management of the House. 

"We tabled the report as soon as it was given to us and we were told to do so by PAC," he said. 

"We don't interfere in the workings of PAC, or that of any committee in the Dewan Rakyat." 

PAC's report on the LCS was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on the last day of the sitting on Aug 4. 

It revealed that RM9 billion had been allocated for the procurement of LCS but that none of the ships had been completed. 

PAC was slated to meet on the LCS on July 18, but this was postponed to July 27 after its chairman, Ipoh Timur MP Wong Kah Wong, contracted Covid-19. 

Azhar said Lim should have contacted Wong, his DAP colleague, and asked him directly why the report was not tabled earlier. 

"I find it odd that Lim is utterly in the dark about it. After all, the PAC chairman is from DAP. All he should have done was to call his party mate and ask him why the report was not presented at anytime earlier rather than spewing allegations."

MalaysiaNow has reached out to Wong but received no response on the matter. 

Azhar also reiterated that he had never interfered in the affairs of PAC or any other parliamentary body.

"These committees are now functioning with meaningful checks and balance proceedings," he said. 

"It is thus regrettable that a senior MP would make baseless allegations and insinuate that either I or the Dewan Rakyat management was 'procrastinating' or complicit in trying to engineer a delay in the tabling of the PAC report on the combat ship to avoid scrutiny of the said report."