KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 — Cost overruns for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project totalled RM1.4 billion, with RM400 million used to pay old debts from an old patrol vessel project, said Public Accounts Committee chairman Wong Kah Woh today.

The Ipoh Timor MP added that 15 per cent of the equipment for the LCS project worth RM1.7 billion has also become obsolete after sitting in store for too long.

"The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) was given to Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS) through direct negotiation and we have paid them up to RM6.083 billion so far.

"However, not even one of the LCS ships has been delivered. According to our timeline, five LCS ships should have been completed and handed over to us by August 2022,” said Wong.

When asked by reporters, he said that out of RM1.4 billion extra cost, RM400 million was used to pay old debts from the NGPV project, RM300 million was used for an integration facility in Cyberjaya, while the rest are cost overruns.

He also slammed the Ministry of Defence for not considering the "benefit of end-user” when they are making the purchase of the combat ships.

"At the beginning, Mindef agreed to purchase the Sigma model but it was changed to Gowind on July 11 upon the proposal of BNS.

"Even (Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar), the then chief of Navy said that such a decision is gravely wrong,” said Wong.

Wong then suggested the government declassify the reports related to the procurement of LCS ships for public scrutiny.

He also urged the MACC to take immediate action on PAC's findings and called for Mindef to present a progress report on the LCS project every three months.

"We understand that this project has been delayed for a long time, and there hasn’t been much progress over the last few years and has even stopped working,

"Therefore we want Mindef to report to us every three months until the project is completed,” said Wong.

The LCS project is the largest procurement in the history of Mindef with a total cost of RM9 billion.

The said contract began in 2013 with a ten-year time frame and six LCS ships were expected to be built and delivered to the country by the end of 2023.