Malaysia hopes to get 5 LCS ships according to schedule

Malaysia hopes to get 5 LCS ships according to schedule

Abdul Rahman said that the progress of the LCS project has been good, adding that the supplementary agreement on the project will be signed soon.

He said that this will allow the following process to take place and the construction to be carried out as planned.

There is nothing surprising. We hope to get these vessels according to schedule. We are lacking in high-capacity assets like the LCS.

He said that with the presence of LCS, it can help us to strengthen our capacity and carry out our tasks with excellence.

On January 5, Mr Mohamad Hasan said that the first batch was due to sail as soon as July 2024.

We will base our consideration on a commercial basis. We want to make sure the ships are completed.

When it is not all six, four would be enough as long as they are completed during my tenure in MINDEF, he was quoted as saying by Bernama at the Ministry of Defence MINDEF headquarters.

The RM 9 billion US $2 billion procurement project is an important asset to the country, according to Mohamad.

The Defence Ministry is expected to receive an allocation of 17.4 billion in Budget 2023, which is scheduled to be unveiled in February.

In August of last year, the Malaysian Parliament's Public Accounts Committee PAC tabled a report on the procurement of littoral combatant ships, two years after starting a probe into the RM 9 billion contract.

The Ministry of Defence awarded six ships to Boustead Naval Shipyard through direct negotiations, according to the committee. The government has paid 6.08 billion or 66.65 per cent of the cost so far.

Not even one of the LCS ships has been delivered, according to the PAC chairman, Wong Kah Woh.

According to our timelines, five LCS ships should have been completed and handed over to us by August 2022, said Mr Wong, who was then Ipoh Timor Member of Parliament.

The issue attracted the attention of the public in August 2020 during the presentation of the auditor general's report in Parliament. The PAC held nine rounds of proceedings from November 2020 to March 2022.

Former defence minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was among those called up to the proceedings, which is currently one of the two deputy prime ministers in the unity government of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.

The defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein, who held the portfolio from May 2013 to May 2018, was also called up to the proceedings, as were former navy chief Admiral Abdul Aziz Jaafar and officials from Boustead subsidiaries.

The former prime minister Najib Razak, who was Ahmad Zahid's predecessor for the defence portfolio, has also been linked to the scandal.