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Friday, August 19, 2022

Hisham urged to come clean on 'supplementary' LCS contract

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has been urged to clarify the details of a supplementary contract signed between his ministry and Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS) in relation to the troubled littoral combat ship (LCS) project.

In a statement, DAP deputy secretary-general Liew Chin Tong said that according to a BNS filing to the Companies Commission, the company signed a fifth supplementary contract for the LCS project with the Defence Ministry on May 31, 2022.

“Hishammuddin must inform the Parliament and the public, as a consequence of the supplementary contract, whether any sum from the remaining RM3.048 billion has been disbursed to BNS,” said Liew, who was formerly a deputy defence minister.

In addition, Liew also urged Hishammuddin (above) to clarify what he meant when he claimed “no new funds” would be allocated for the LCS project.

He questioned if this meant the government will still disburse the remaining RM3.048 billion of the RM9.128 billion contract value.

“The most plausible explanation is that the government would disburse the remaining RM3.048 billion to (contractors) BNS.

“But it is unacceptable to disburse the remaining RM3.048 billion to BNS without having a clear financing plan that is convincing and credible,” said Liew.

Two days ago, Hishammuddin told reporters “additional allocations” for the LCS project will only be considered after the first of the six ships is delivered.

“The first ship will not involve an injection of new funds,” he said.

When asked specifically if more funds were needed to complete the five other ships, Hishammuddin said: “Maybe. But for me, prove that we can first complete the first ship.”

“If we can’t even do that, there is no point thinking of additional allocations.” - Mkini

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