First LCS project expected to be completed within next year or two, says Hisham

PETALING JAYA: The first Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project is expected to be completed within the next year or two, said Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (pic).

The Defence Minister said the progress schedule of the ship construction project will also be reported to the public in stages.

ALSO READ: Hisham: Combat ship project to continue

"We are trying to make sure our ship reaches the Royal Malaysian Navy (TLDM). I am also disappointed but we must look forward," he said in Dewan Negara on Monday (Aug 8).

It was previously reported that RM1.4bil worth of government funds intended for the multibillion-ringgit LCS project signed in 2014 was diverted for other purposes.

ALSO READ: The guilty in LCS scandal will pay, says Hisham

None of the ships have been completed so far, although five should have been delivered by this month, the PAC revealed in Parliament.

Another RM255mil worth of LCS equipment, or 15% of the RM1.7bil worth, which was kept in store for the project, is now obsolete.

ALSO READ: Whoever is guilty, remains guilty, says Hisham on LCS issue

These were among the findings contained in the bipartisan committee’s 250-page report that was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on Aug 4.

Of the RM1.4bil, RM400mil was used to repay previous debts incurred under the New Generation Patrol Vessel (NGPV) project, RM305mil was used for an integration facility in Cyberjaya, and another RM700mil was a cost overrun that exceeded the LCS contract ceiling.

On Thursday (Aug 4), PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh said former defence minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi would be called by the committee early next month, to testify.

Former commander of the Royal Malaysian Navy, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar and the main contractor of the LCS ship project BNS were also among those called for the proceedings.

More to come

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