The Parliament Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had tabled its report on the Procurement of Littoral Combatant Ship (LCS) by the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) yesterday in Dewan Rakyat.
It is sad to see how the Government had again failed Malaysians, with another mega scandal exposing a loss of RM6 billion.
The scandal has proven the MACC Chief Commissioner Azam Baki wrong who had earlier dismissed Transparency International (TI)’s annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI) as mere perception and not facts.
Whilst the former Navy Chief, Laksamana Tan Sri Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Jaafar has described the decision-making process in LCS as “gravely wrong”, the PAC report has told us that “everything is wrong” in the RM9 billion LCS Project – from the appointment of contractor, the choice of the design of the vessel to how the taxpayers’ monies were spent, burnt and squandered.
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the then Defence Minister at the time, has chosen to keep quiet in the past 24 hours despite being named in the PAC Report for his decision to choose GOWIND design by the French Naval Group for LCS, against the wishes of the Navy as the end user to have the SIGMA design from the Dutch.
Zahid owes the nation an explanation on why he made such a decision favouring the Contractor.
This is an issue involving national security and the Navy are the ones who go to war using the LCS.
What has driven Zahid to ignore the letters of protest sent by Dr. Abdul Aziz Jaafar which put the Navy’s and the nation’s interests at stake?
This is a case where the Defence Minister was guilty of disregarding the defence interests of the country!
More doubts are cast when it is realised that the manufacturer of GOWIND was the same supplier for the infamous the Scorpene Submarine.
The former Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong had in 2020 urged the Government to investigate the missing RM1 billion linked to LCS Project.
We did not see any investigation being announced by the Government nor any action taken by the MACC since then.
The PAC Report may have given some clue to the MACC if the MACC is clueless about the missing money.
It is shocking to note that the PAC Report revealed not only RM1 billion but RM1.4 billion had disappeared.
A sum of RM400 million was used by the Contractor to pay off its old debt, RM305 million was used to build a centre in Cyberjaya relatively unrelated to the ship-building and RM700 million was classified as cost-overrun by the Contractor.
The ball is in the MACC’s court now to investigate each and every aspect of the spending and tell the people whether the money was actually siphoned off and who had eventually benefited from it.
Can the MACC Chief Commissioner Azam Baki tell Malaysians what the MACC is doing about the PAC report as well as to explain why it had not acted earlier?