The Cabinet today agreed in principle that the littoral combat ship (LCS) project forensic audit report should be made public.
However, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said a decision would be made after discussions with Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and other stakeholders on the mechanism of disclosure as there were sensitive issues which cannot be made public.
In a press conference after the Merdeka Month Celebration of the Legal Affairs Division in Putrajaya today, Wan Junaidi said he was of the view that sensitive matters involving security should not be revealed.
"In principle, Cabinet members still emphasised that the disclosure will be made. I am of the opinion that sensitive things, security issues, should not be disclosed," he said, adding that this was the practice in the US and England.
Earlier, the Cabinet had proposed that the forensic audit report for the LCS project conducted in 2019 be declassified, although the process would need to get the advice and views of the attorney-general and the auditor-general.
Wan Junaidi also said it was possible that the government would establish a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to investigate the LCS issue.
"Prime Minister (Ismail Sabri Yaakob) earlier (at the Cabinet meeting) mentioned one more thing (about an LCS RCI). So it means that the question (LCS RCI) has not been written off, even though it is considered that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has done its best," he said.
Hishammuddin, when winding up the debate on the motion related to the LCS issue at the Dewan Negara yesterday, assured that he would personally bring the proposal for an RCI for the approval of the Cabinet today.
Hishammuddin said this in response to the suggestions of several senators who urged the government to establish an RCI to investigate the LCS issue from all aspects so that no guilty party escapes prosecution.
Wan Junaidi said MACC still needed to update the investigation papers relating to the LCS case before returning them to the Attorney-General's Chambers for a decision so that other individuals may be prosecuted.
"However, there was a discussion in the Cabinet earlier and the Cabinet's decision was open-ended. The MACC investigation will continue and the Cabinet reiterates that we will not protect anyone in the LCS issue," he said.
The Public Accounts Committee previously revealed that nine proceedings related to the LCS issue starting on Nov 18, 2020 had found that not a single LCS was completed even though the contract for the project awarded through direct negotiation worth RM6.083 billion stated that five ships should be completed and delivered as of August 2022.