Proposal for RCI on LCS project to be presented to Cabinet on Aug 17, says Hisham

KUALA LUMPUR: A proposal to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to investigate the construction of the littoral combat ship (LCS) project for the Royal Malaysian Navy will be presented to the Cabinet on Wednesday (Aug 17).

Senior Minister (Security) and Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, when winding up the debate on the motion related to the issue in the Dewan Negara on Tuesday (Aug 16), said he would present the matter himself to get Cabinet approval.

"This is my responsibility to present the matter to the Cabinet on Wednesday and I will do it. The Cabinet also needs to present (the proposal to set up the RCI) to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong," he said.

He said this in his reply to several members of the Dewan Negara on Wednesday, who urged the government to establish an RCI to investigate the LCS project to examine all aspects so that no guilty party escapes prosecution.

Hishammuddin also said that based on the Cabinet's decision in April, the Defence Ministry would continue the LCS project for the benefit of the Navy.

Therefore, he said, the ministry would ensure that the mobilisation phase is implemented well to enable Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS) to start negotiations with original equipment manufacturers (OEM) in Europe and local vendors, from June 20 to Dec 21.

Hishammuddin also explained that there would not be additional provisions for the six-month period of the mobilisation process and there was no need for the project to be continued by other companies because it would further delay the project.

He said the government also decided to establish a Special Governance Committee, which will be chaired by the secretaries-general of the Treasury and Defence Ministry to closely monitor the process for the next six months.

Meanwhile, Hishammuddin said that the Prime Minister's Department had started the process of declassifying the report of the Special Committee on Governance Investigation, Government Procurement and Finance and it is expected to be completed soon.

Regarding the LCS forensic audit report, he said that the Cabinet was waiting for the response of the Attorney General's Chambers and the National Audit Department since the forensic audit was owned by BNS and not the government. – Bernama

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