KUALA LUMPUR: The proposal to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to investigate the RM9bil Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project was presented to the Cabinet on Wednesday (Aug 17).
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said he had raised the matter during the Cabinet meeting.
"It is still in the process of discussion involving various parties, especially the ministers, but I cannot reveal what was discussed.
"I believe the matter will be further discussed during the next Cabinet meeting before the proposal is presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong," he told reporters after attending the Wave the Jalur Gemilang event and Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT) Golden Jubilee celebration at Wisma Pertahanan on Wednesday.
Asked on when the RCI proposal will be presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Hishammuddin said it will be done once the Cabinet has discussed the matter further and a clear stand is made.
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"As we know, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is currently overseas.
"Once the Cabinet has discussed the matter further and has a clear stand on it, we will present it to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to get his views on the matter," he said.
Hishammuddin said the LCS project is already ongoing and the target is for the completion of the first ship within one to two years.
"No additional funding will be allocated for the first ship.
"We will gauge the ability of the company in completing the first ship within the targeted time. If they can't, there is no use discussing additional funds for the remaining ships," he said.
Asked about the former Navy chief Tan Ahmad Ramli Mohd Nor, who was charged in court on Tuesday (Aug 16), Hishammuddin said in finding justice, due process must be prioritised.
"I believe the authorities have investigated the individual who was charged, and there might be others who are being investigated.
"I leave it to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Attorney General to take further action," he said.
Justice must be served if any element of corruption or abuse of power is found, he said.
"No one will be exempted," he said.
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On Tuesday (Aug 16), it was reported that an RCI may be set up to investigate the RM9bil LCS project for the Royal Malaysian Navy.
"A proposal to establish the RCI will be presented to the Cabinet on Wednesday," Hishammuddin said.
"This is my responsibility to present the matter to the Cabinet 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 when winding up the debate on the motion related to the issue in the Dewan Negara on Tuesday.
Hishammuddin was replying to several members of the Dewan Negara who urged the government 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.