PAC merely carrying out its responsibilities on LCS report, Wong rebuts Ahmad Zahid

PETALING JAYA: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was only carrying out its responsibilities as a parliamentary committee in publishing a report on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project scandal, says its chairman Wong Kah Woh.

Wong said he was unsure what Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi found amiss with the PAC's conduct, after the Bagan Datuk MP said the committee needed to be more sensitive in its investigation, as those were matters regarding national security.

"The PAC is a bipartisan committee that's merely carrying out its responsibilities entrusted by the Dewan Rakyat in ensuring public spending is prudent," said Wong in a statement on Tuesday (Aug 9).

Wong said every witness who testifies before the PAC will have their statement recorded in a hansard or written transcripts.

Wong noted that Ahmad Zahid's hansard dated Jan 4 last year was sent to him through post and he was given seven days to make any relevant amendments in his written transcript.

"For the record, Ahmad Zahid did not make any amendments, corrections or omissions on any information given during the proceedings he attended," added Wong.

Wong said should any hansard containing any sensitive issues involving national security and witnesses had requested for omissions or amendments, the PAC will discuss whether or not to allow that request.

"This includes acquiring legal views from the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) that was present in every PAC proceeding as an ex-officio PAC.

"In the LCS project proceedings, not a single witness had made such a request," said Wong.

Wong cited the parliament's Standing Orders 77(1), that provides for the PAC to investigate government spending, including other matters deemed by the committee as requiring investigations.

Meanwhile, Wong said the PAC had published its report on the LCS scandal based on facts, documents and statements acquired by the committee throughout proceedings.

"Public discussion on these issues shows how much the people want to know in regards to the LCS project," he added.

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

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.

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

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

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