PAC to table LCS report at next Parliament sitting

PETALING JAYA: The follow up action report on the littoral combat ship (LCS) project will be tabled by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in Parliament during the Dewan Rakyat sitting which begins this Feb 26, says Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin.

"The PAC is expected to table the report on the proceedings held on Wednesday (Jan 24) on the follow up action by the Defence Ministry with regard to the recommendations of the LCS in the coming Dewan Rakyat proceedings which begins this Feb 26.

"The committee was also informed that the LSC 1 (KD Maharajalela) will be handed over to the Royal Malaysian Navy (TLDM) in October 2026," the PAC chairman said in a statement on Wednesday (Jan 24).

She said the current PAC hearing was to keep tabs on the progress of the committee's recommendation on the LCS project for the periods between Oct 2022 and May 2023 and June and September last year.

Among those called to testify before the PAC on Wednesday were the ministry's secretary-general Datuk Seri Isham Ishak, LCS project team chief Admiral Franklin Jeyasekhar Joseph and Boustead Naval Shipyard chief executive officer Capt (Rtd) Azhar Jumaat.

The controversial LCS project was highlighted in the Auditor-General's Report 2019 with the PAC initiating an investigation in 2022 and had made several recommendations which have since been implemented.

Under the multi-billion project signed in 2014, six LCS ships were supposed to be delivered in stages beginning 2019 but none were completed as scheduled.

The LCS project came under scrutiny after the PAC revealed that the government had already paid out RM6.08bil.

During its probe, the PAC said that some RM1.4bil in government allocations for the project had been diverted for other purposes.

The PAC had said that five of the ships were supposed to be received by the Navy in August, 2022.

Former Navy chief Tan Sri Ahmad Ramli Mohd Nor, 78, was charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust involving RM21.08mil at the Sessions Court.

On Jan 30 last year, the government decided to reduce the LCS ships to five units, from the initially agreed six.

Owing to delays, the PAC, in its previous report, stated that the last of the five ships will only be ready by the year 2029.

The delays resulted in the cost of LCS construction increasing from RM9.128bil to RM11.22bil with an increase of RM2.098bil.

Meanwhile, Mas Ermieyati said that the PAC was shocked and worried at delays affecting the construction of the LCS.

"The committee wants the contractors involved in the construction of the LCS and the LCS project team to take proactive steps to overcome this problem.

"The committee, however, welcomes Datuk Isham's statement that the ministry will take immediate action to ensure the issue of delays is resolved," she added.

However, she said the extent of the delays could not be revealed at the moment owing to Dewan Rakyat Standing Order 85.

Standing Order 85 states that any evidence brought before a Select Committee "shall not be published by any member of that committee or by anyone else until the committee presents that statement to the House."

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LCS , Mas Ermieyati , PAC , Dewan Rakyat ,


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