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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Revive PH-era panel on procurement, PM told after LCS scandal


It was recently revealed that not a single LCS had been completed although Putrajaya had already spent RM6 billion. (malaysiandefence.com pic)

PETALING JAYA: A former minister and his deputy have called on Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to revive the governance, procurement and finance investigation committee (JKSTUPKK) in view of the littoral combat ship (LCS) scandal.

Mohamad Sabu, who served as the defence minister under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, and his deputy, Liew Chin Tong, said that former auditor-general Ambrin Buang should be reinstated as committee chairman to ensure continuity of the investigation into the project.

“The re-establishment of JKSTUPKK is not only to continue the investigation into the LCS scandal but also to eradicate leakages and embezzlement of funds in the government,” they said in a joint statement.

The committee was established in May 2018 during the PH administration but was dissolved in July last year.

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Yesterday, Ismail said the Cabinet agreed to declassify the JKSTUPKK report on the LCS project and it would be made available to the public.

He also said the Cabinet had agreed to declassify a 2019 forensic report on the project, although Putrajaya will need to obtain the attorney-general and auditor-general’s advice first.

Mohamad and Liew welcomed the move but stressed that JKSTUPKK was needed to provide “check and balance” on government spending and governance.

The LCS project has come under much scrutiny after the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) released its report which, among other things, found that not a single ship had been completed although Putrajaya had already spent RM6 billion.

Last week, PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh called for the JKSTUPKK report on the procurement of the six ships to be fully declassified, while Mohamad and Liew had urged that Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd’s (BNS) forensic report on the project  also be declassified.

BNS had been appointed to carry out a forensic audit in 2019 to identify any leaks, irregularities and abuse of power in the procurement of the ships. - FMT

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