PAC starts probe into late delivery of MMEA patrol ships

PETALING JAYA: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has agreed to begin proceedings on the issue involving three offshore patrol vessels (OPV) that have yet to be handed over to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).

PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh said that MMEA and the Home Ministry would have to explain to Parliament, through the PAC, the reasons for the delay.

"The PAC agreed in consensus to begin proceedings on the issue of the acquisition of the OPVs of the MMEA, which is under the Home Ministry.

"In the PAC meeting on Monday (Sept 26), it was decided that MMEA and the Home Ministry must explain to Parliament why this delay has happened.

"The PAC will also call the Finance Ministry and the company given the contract to build these OPVs," said Wong in a statement.

He said the PAC would hold the proceedings in line with its powers under the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders 77(1).

He said that PAC will also use its powers under the Standing Orders 83(2) and Article 11(b) of General Circular No. 2 of 1982.

"The dates of the proceedings will be decided later," said Wong.

MMEA was scheduled to have received at least one OPV this month, this after the government had previously given an 18-month extension to TH Heavy Engineering to complete all three vessels.

In June, it was reported that the Home Ministry had assured the MMEA that at least one of the vessels would be delivered this year.

The report stated that TH Heavy was facing losses of up to RM628.9mil and debts amounting to RM165mil, while only having cash flow of RM27.5mil to complete the said vessels.

This has raised questions on whether it would be able to complete the three vessels as promised.

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