MALAYSIA — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim emphasized that the investigation into the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project must continue as the previous prosecution was deemed insufficient.
Anwar said the previous prosecution did not cover the main culprits behind the project’s issues, and there were significant shortcomings and leakages discovered.
“However, it is not my job to delve deeper and ask more questions because if I do, there will be accusations of selective prosecution.”
Anwar further instructed the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to take further action on the matter and informed them that a second-round prosecution would take place.
“I emphasize that the LCS investigation must continue, and the previous actions were not enough to expose and act against the primary individuals allegedly involved. Let the investigation continue,” he asserted.
Anwar made this statement in response to the Member of Parliament from the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), Ahmad Fadhli Shaari’s supplementary question during the Minister’s Question Time (MQT) at Malaysia’s Parliament sitting on Tuesday (14 Mar).
Ahmad Fadhli questioned the issues regarding the government’s seriousness in taking action against non-transparent governance, including the LCS.
Malaysia’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Project: Cost overruns and delays result in no ships delivered by deadline
The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project in Malaysia has been embroiled in a scandal involving delays, cost overruns, mismanagement, and alleged mishandling of funds.
The multi-billion LCS project mentioned in the query was signed in 2014 with the aim to build and deliver six ships to the navy in stages by 2019.
However, none of the ships was completed by the deadline.
Declassified reports and audits in August last year have revealed poor corporate governance and irregularities that could potentially cause losses of up to RM890 million (approximately 198 million USD).
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) exposed that the cost overruns for the Littoral Combat Ship project totalled RM1.4 billion, with RM400 million used to pay old debts from an old patrol vessel project.
The former managing director of Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd (BHIC), Tan Sri Ahmad Ramli Mohd Nor, was previously charged with criminal breach of trust over the LCS project scandal, but he pleaded not guilty.
Ramli allegedly approved payments without the board of directors’ approval while serving as the then-Bousted Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS) managing director.