The defence ministry says it will fully cooperate with all authorities involved in investigations with regard to the littoral combat ship (LCS) issue.
Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said his ministry was ready to assist all authorities involved in the investigations, including the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Public Accounts Committee, Investigation Committee on Public Governance, Procurement and Finance Investigation, and Forensic Audit.
"We have nothing to hide but instead want the investigations to be settled for the sake of the Royal Malaysian Navy (TLDM), the people and the country.
"The defence ministry can also assure that there will be no interference in the Cabinet’s decision and the three things that I have put forward. First and foremost, TLDM needs the LCS and therefore the project must go on in tandem with the Cabinet’s decision in April," he said in a statement.
Secondly, he said, those involved and found guilty must be brought to face the law while the third request is that within six months, the ministry will carry out discussions with the original equipment manufacturer, vendor and financial institution to mobilise the completion of the LCS.
"It is important for all stakeholders to focus on efforts to continue the LCS project to ensure that TLDM is equipped with the LCS as soon as possible, as it is much needed," said Hishammuddin.
Meanwhile, former TLDM chief Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin, who spoke at the LCS 1 launch in Lumut back in 2017, said naming and launching before a ship is completed and commissioned had been a tradition practised by TLDM for many years.
He said accusations that the LCS launch in Lumut in 2017 was aimed at cheating the people were not true because it was the actual LCS 1 ship that was in the building process and not a dummy that was launched.
"The launch in Lumut was not the first. Such a practice is also followed by other countries, but if the ship has not been completed, I can understand the feelings of the people. I am just called upon to correct the confusion among the public.
"When the integrity of TLDM is at stake, we need to correct such perceptions. The public must be clear about the truth and not be confused," he said in a statement.