MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Thursday, August 4, 2022

LCS fiasco: Explain irregularities, Rafizi tells Hishammuddin


PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli took Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to task regarding the irregularities in the procurement of littoral combat ships (LCS).

This came after the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairperson Wong Kah Woh issued a statement earlier today regarding the findings of the committee, which examined the handling of the LCS project which has been ongoing since 2011.

Wong pointed out that not a single ship had been completed, although RM6 billion had been spent by Putrajaya over the project given to Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS) via direct negotiations, adding that the navy’s view was ignored by the Defence Ministry and BNS.

Hurling brickbats at Hishammuddin, Rafizi (above, left) said the issue was more critical than other scandals as it involves multiple dimensions.

“There is misappropriation of public funds to build a national defence system where the project was awarded directly to a company controlled by a trust fund that is supposed to care for soldiers’ welfare.

“When the funds are misappropriated, not only the trust fund suffers losses, our national defence system is exposed to various risks when equipment and weaponry become obsolete and outdated.

“The next victim is the soldier who continues to be marginalised. If the embezzlement did not happen, the money could have been used to give better allowances and pensions to our armed forces personnel,” he said in a statement today.

From the information he gathered over several months, Rafizi said the problem occurred under the stewardship of several different defence ministers.

“On Dec 16, 2011, the Defence Ministry issued a Letter of Award (LOA) to BNS to build and supply six Second Generation Patrol Vessels (SGPV) and LCS with a total contract of RM9 billion.

“The defence minister at that time responsible for managing this project was Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the current Umno president.

“The federal government then signed the final contract with BNS amounting to RM9 billion on July 17, 2014.

“And the defence minister who negotiated the final agreement was Hishammuddin,” he alleged.

Rafizi claimed that an internal investigation showed that at least RM890 million has been misappropriated from this project, in terms of fraud, money transferred to parties with the aim of defrauding the contract, duplication of contracts with multiple claims, and various other irregularities.

“I believe this internal investigation has reached Hishammuddin. As the minister who signed the contract in 2014, he is also the person who signed the supplementary agreement (supplementary contract) on May 31 this year to revive this project.

“As the minister who has been in charge of this project for the longest time, Hishammuddin certainly knows about all the internal reports on the irregularities of this project.

“So, why has he not taken any action to deal with it? Why has no one filed a single case against the parties named?” the former Pandan MP questioned.

Training his guns against former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, Rafizi reminded the former that he was in power when the contract was signed in 2014.

As the general election looms over the horizon, Rafizi said the LCS fiasco may put Umno in a bind.

Obsolete defence system

“The country's weaponry and defence system are neglected that it lags behind our neighbours like Indonesia.

“The plight of our mostly Malay soldiers was ignored when the funds that were supposed to benefit them went missing,” he said.

Rafizi warned that he has gathered much information on the LCS project that he will soon start making exposes as he did in the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC), 1MDB, Tabung Haji and Felda scandals.

“I will continue to reveal the details of these irregularities one by one until Zahid, Hishammuddin and Najib speak up.

“The scandal happened under their supervision and they are duty-bound to provide an explanation to the people,” he said. - Mkini

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.