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Cabinet urges MACC to step up probe into combat ship scandal

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob says the investigation will be carried out transparently and that the government will not protect anyone found to be involved.

2 minute read
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob. Photo: Bernama
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob. Photo: Bernama

The Cabinet is urging the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to expedite its investigation into the littoral combat ship (LCS) scandal, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today. 

He said the Cabinet, which discussed the matter in detail at its meeting today, also called on the attorney-general to prosecute and bring the culprits to justice if there was enough evidence.

"On behalf of the government, I give my assurance that the investigation into this matter will be carried out transparently and that the government will not protect anyone involved," he said in a statement.

Ismail said he had also called Attorney-General Idrus Harun and MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki after the meeting and asked them to take immediate action in line with the Cabinet’s decision.

Adding that the government took a serious view of the LCS issue, Ismail said the Cabinet had also decided that the report prepared by the Committee on Governance, Procurement and Finance Investigation, chaired by former auditor-general Ambrin Buang, would be allowed to be made public.

The Cabinet also proposed that the LCS Project Forensics Audit Report in 2019 be declassified, although Ismail said the process would need the advice and input of the attorney-general and auditor-general first.

"The decision made by the Cabinet today will not affect the mobilisation process under the LCS Project Recovery Plan finalised by the Cabinet on April 20, 2022," he added.

Ismail said the government was also committed to continuing the LCS project in the interest of national defence and in line with the Royal Malaysian Navy requirements.

Last Thursday, the Public Accounts Committee disclosed that it had held nine proceedings regarding the LCS issue from Nov 18, 2020, with the last one on March 8 this year, during which several witnesses were called.

The results of the proceedings found that the LCS project contract was awarded to Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd through direct negotiation, with the government paying RM6.083 billion although not even one LCS ship was delivered.

According to the original schedule, five ships should have been ready and handed over by August 2022.