KUALA LUMPUR: A Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) should be formed by Putrajaya to probe the recent Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) scandal before the 15th general election (GE15) is held, says MCA secretary-general Datuk Chong Sin Woon.
In joining with Umno to call for the formation of a RCI to probe the LCS scandal, Chong said the commission must be quickly set up to prevent another mega-scandal from undermining Barisan Nasional’s performance in GE15.
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"Opposition parties have started to make this another big scandal. It is wise for us to act fast. Learning from what happened in the 1MDB scandal, we should not let this new issue be played up," said Chong at a press conference at Wisma MCA on Wednesday (Aug 10).
He added that MCA demanded a clear and transparent investigation on the LCS scandal, so the public could be better informed.
"Charge those who are involved in this scandal and don’t drag Barisan as a whole into it. We are in support of taking stern action (on the LCS scandal) before the national polls are called," said Chong.
On Aug 9, Umno youth Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki called for the formation of an RCI to immediately investigate the LCS scandal.
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 Public Accounts Committee’s 250-page report that was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on Aug 4.
Meanwhile, Chong also announced that MCA would be organising a political debate at Dewan San Choon in Wisma MCA on Aug 20 at 8pm, to raise awareness among Malaysians about current political developments.
"We hope this will encourage more students to expose themselves to debates, and promote a culture of openness towards political discussions," added Chong.
Chong said the debate on politics was timely, as there has been political unrest over the years, where Malaysians are generally apathetic about politics.
"We hope this debate will help structure these differing opinions and stances on a fair and equal stage, allowing the audience to get a more comprehensive and in-depth insight of the subject matter," added Chong.
The debate, dubbed as "Forming Political Alliances Before or After Elections - Which is Better for Malaysia’s Politics", will have two types of tickets - RM20 and RM10 - available for sales.
Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Kampar Utar Hospital construction fund.