KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 — Former Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today gave a statement and explanation to the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) on the ministry’s (Mindef) failure to supply six second-generation littoral combat ships (LCS) costing RM9 billion.
PAC chairman, Wong Kah Woh said Ahmad Zahid, the MP for Bagan Datuk, who was the Minister of Defence from April 10, 2009 to May 16, 2013, gave the statement for almost two hours on the issue, involving the biggest defence procurement in the history of Mindef.
He said Ahmad Zahid was the sixth witness called by PAC over the issue, including Mindef secretary-general, Datuk Seri Muez Abdul Aziz; former Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) chief, General (Rtd) Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar and Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) chief operations officer, Low Kok Chiang.
“PAC views this issue seriously because until October 2020, RM6.083 billion had been paid out but none of the LCS had been completed although according to the schedule, two of the ships should have been built,” he said in a statement today.
The issue had been raised in the Auditor-General’s Report 2019 Series 1 (Compliance Auditing of Ministries/Federal Departments) and Governance, Procurement and Government Financial Committee Investigation Report, Prime Minister’s Department, published in 2019.
Wong said to complete the investigation, the PAC also planned to visit the LCS dockyard owned by BNS in Lumut, Perak, with the date to be fixed. — Bernama