TI: Make public RCI report on LCS scandal

PETALING JAYA: If there is a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the RM9bil littoral combat ships (LCS) scandal, its report must be made public, says Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M).

“There have been previous RCI reports, such as in the Wang Kelian incident, which have not been publicly disclosed until today.

“We actually do not know what transpired and who was involved in the Wang Kelian incident,” its president Dr Muhammad Mohan said yesterday.

“We are in favour of the RCI (into the LCS scandal) if it is approved by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and hope it is made public.”

In the Wang Kelian incident, mass graves with 139 bodies were discovered at several detention camps in Perlis near the Thai border. The RCI was held and completed in June 2019.

Muhammad said the new RCI would be a “good stepping stone” for the government to learn from earlier shortcomings.

“The declassified report revealed that the cost may balloon by more than RM1bil of taxpayers money,” he said, adding that the RCI should also seeks answers over mismanagement of the project.

“Who allowed changes to the ship’s design and why weren’t the navy’s requirements taken into consideration?” he asked.

On Wednesday, the 106-page report by the Special Investigating Committee Report on Procurement, Governance and Finance was declassified by Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The committee, led by former auditor-general Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, revealed that Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS), the company embroiled in the LCS scandal, was in bad financial shape, running up losses amounting to RM462mil between 2014 and 2018.

The cost was also set to balloon by more than RM1bil to a RM11.145bil from the initial cost of RM9bil.

Also revealed in the report was that former defence ministers Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi were involved in the project since 2008 and 2010 respectively.

Yesterday, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the proposal to set up a RCI was submitted to the Cabinet for discussions before it was presented to the King.

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