PAC to question Zahid and others over RM9bil combat ship project


KUALA LUMPUR: Several individuals, including former defence minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic), will be questioned by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) over the RM9bil littoral combatant ship project (LCS), says Wong Kah Woh.

The PAC chairman said former navy chief admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar and a representative from Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS), main contractor of the LCS, will be questioned in the proceedings that will resume in early January.

“The PAC will also conduct a visit on the LCS ship construction site in Lumut, Perak, in January next year.

“The PAC is aiming to complete and table the PAC report regarding the supply of six second-generation LCS ships in the March Parliament session, ” Wong told reporters in Parliament on Thursday (Dec 17).

Wong said the PAC has held four meetings and proceedings over the issue where Auditor-General (A-G) Datuk Nik Azman Nik Abdul Majid, Defence Ministry secretary-general Datuk Muez Abd Aziz, and former A-G Tan Sri Ambrin Buang and several other individuals had been questioned.

He said the government must find a solution over the matter as soon as possible, as the failure to complete the construction of the LCS ships is a serious matter.

“Because it not only involves the weakness or failure in terms of administration, acquisition and finances, but it also impacts the nation’s defence and security, ” he said.

“The PAC believes that a solution must be decided by the government as soon as possible. It is also important for the PAC to expedite these proceedings and table its report to the Parliament, ” he added.

It was reported that RM5.94bil was paid to BNS for the project that was commissioned in 2014.

The first LCS ship was set to be delivered in April 2019. However, none of the ships has been built to date.

In September, Liew Chin Tong, the former deputy defence minister, had revealed that RM1bil paid for the LCS ships could not be traced.

Zahid is also the former deputy prime minister.

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