Speaker says given assurances LCS project on track during site visit

KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri Johari Abdul says he has been given assurances that the controversial littoral combat ship (LCS) project is on track following a site visit to the Boustead Naval Shipyard at the Navy base in Lumut, Perak.

The Dewan Rakyat Speaker also said that he, as well as the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman and its members, were given a full briefing on the project during the visit.

"As Speaker, I take it as a personal responsibility that when I preside soon on this matter, I know what they are talking about.

"Looking at the schedule, it will be on time, and, in some areas, even ahead of time.

"And I think in terms of costs, whatever that has been decided by the government is also on track," he said during the Concorde Club meeting on Friday (Oct 6).

The Concorde Club is an informal gathering of a group of editors and senior journalists who gather with politicians and key policymakers.

Also present was newly-appointed Bernama chairman and Star Media Group advisor Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai.

Previous guests included Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak as well as ministers Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and Anthony Loke.

Johari said his confidence level in the progress of the project had gone up after seeing it with his own eyes.

He was also proud that the design as well as building of the ships were all done by Malaysians.

"I am very happy with what is happening and I congratulated the Navy last night (Oct 5).

"This is because they have put their whole expertise to oversee the project and they have done a good job," added the Speaker.

Johari had previously said that he would ensure the PAC report into the LCS construction project is debated in Parliament.

The committee had welcomed the decision to debate its report on the LCS project during the next Parliament meeting which begins on Monday (Oct 9)

Its chairman Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin said the decision by the Speaker was the right move.

However, she believed that the motion to debate and the winding-up of the report should be done by the PAC chairman and its committee members.

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