Hishammuddin should make a Ministerial Statement on the first day of Parliament on the RM9 billion LCS scandal, and why it will not be a new 1MDB scandal?

Defence Minister, Hishammuddin Hashim should make a Ministerial State on the first day of Parliament on next Monday, Oct. 3, 2022 on the RM9 billion littoral combatant ships (LCS) scandal and why it will not be a new 1MDB scandal.

As it is, the Defence Ministry’s procurement of then six LCS has made history as it has spanned five five-year plans.

It was conceived in the Ninth Malaysia Plan when Najib Razak was Defence Minister in the Abdullah Badawi Cabinet and according to the Armed Forces Chief Affendi Buang a fortnight ago, the ships will only be delivered in the 13th Malaysia Plan (2026-2030) – the first ship expected to be delivered in January 2026, the second ship in September 2026, the third ship in May 2027, the fourth in January 2028, and the fifth ship in September 2028.

When will the sixth ship be delivered or has it been scuttled?

The RM9 billion six LCS project that probably holds the dubious honour of being a project that spanned five five-year plans is a sad indictment not of greater competence and efficiency but greater abuse of power, breach of trust and kleptocracy in Malaysian governance from the 9th Malaysia Plan to the present.

The Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Azam Baki, said as far back as August 6 this year that the MACC will soon announce the findings of its investigation into the RM9 billion LCS scandal.

Nothing has happened although it is now two months since Azam’s statement.

There is one question which Hishammuddin should address in his Ministerial statement on the first day of Parliament on Monday – what will be the cost of the six LCS as it is obvious that the original RM9 billion approved for the six LCS are grossly inadequate.

The Defence Minister owes to the people and Parliament a candid statement on the latest of the LCS project.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri