PETALING JAYA: Some parties wanted French company DCNS to be involved in the littoral combat ship (LCS) project for their own interests, claims PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli.
He alleged that the parties in question might have wanted the French sub-contractor DCNS, now known as Naval Group, to be chosen to design and construct the Gowind class ships.
This was despite the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) deciding on Sigma class ships which would require Dutch expertise, unlike Gowind which needed French expertise, he said.
“The sub-contractor from France is no stranger in Malaysian shipbuilding scandals. The sub-contractor appointed was DCNS, which is the same contractor involved in the building and supply of the Scorpene submarine,” he said in drawing attention to the Scorpene scandal which was linked to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Rafizi said the decision by the then defence minister (Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi) to change the ships from Sigma to Gowind indicated that there was interference from a party who was in a higher position than him.
“The only political leader who has the power to influence the change in design of the ship at that time and also had a history with DCNS (through the procurement of the Scorpene ship) was Najib Razak,” Rafizi added in a Facebook post yesterday.
As such, he said Najib could not simply wash his hands off the LCS scandal.
Citing the Public Accounts Committee’s proceedings, Rafizi said Zahid had agreed with the RMN’s choice of Sigma class ships on May 26, 2011. However, on July 11, 2011, he changed the decision and agreed with the main contractor, Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS), to go with the Gowind make.
Rafizi said the RMN had chosen Sigma to fulfil the country’s defence needs as the make was said to be more superior and modern compared to Gowind’s.