Zahid approved the LCS project, says Liew

PETALING JAYA: Johor DAP chairman Liew Chin Tong has called out Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for denying he was involved in the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project fiasco.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Liew claimed that it was Ahmad Zahid who approved the project in his capacity as defence minister in 2011.

“Ahmad Zahid must take responsibility for the misappropriation of funds and the failure of the LCS project,” said Liew, who was the deputy defence minister during the Pakatan Harapan administration.

Earlier yesterday, Ahmad Zahid said the deficiencies over the LCS procurement should not be pinned on him as he was not the defence minister when the project was awarded.

“I held the position as defence minister from April 2009 to May 2013. So any party that caused the construction delay should be responsible for providing an explanation to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC),” he said in a report carried in Umno Online, the party’s organ, on Saturday.

The Bagan Datuk MP also said that he was ready to give evidence or explanation to the PAC.

The PAC report presented to Parliament on Aug 4 said some RM1.4bil in government allocation for the LCS project that was signed in 2014 was used for other purposes, including cost overruns.

The PAC said the government had paid RM6.083bil so far for the RM9bil project, without seeing a single ship being completed, even though five should have been delivered this month.

Another RM255mil worth of LCS equipment that was kept in storage, or 15% of the RM1.7bil spent for such equipment, is now obsolete.

These were among the findings contained in the bipartisan committee’s 250-page report.

PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh said Ahmad Zahid will be called by the committee early next month to testify.

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