KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 11 Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) today submitted a memorandum to Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah seeking the monarch’s aid to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to investigate the government’s RM9 billion procurement of six littoral combat ships (LCS) for the navy.

Amanah mobilisation bureau director Mohd Sany Hamzan handed the memorandum to Istana Negara head of corporate communications Muzli Md Zin here this morning.

Sany said an RCI is necessary as the issue deals with Malaysia’s sovereignty and defence.

“Until today, we have not even seen a shadow of the warship. This would definitely cause the people to worry because it involves the country's defence and safety,” he told reporters outside the palace after handing over the memorandum.

He added that the procurement involved using public funds and the royal institution.

The Agong is the commander-in-chief of the country’s Armed Forces as provided by Article 41 of the Federal Constitution, which effectively makes him the highest-ranking officer in the military’s chain of command.

“That is why we hope the Yang di-Pertuan Agong would order the establishment of an RCI as soon as possible to fully investigate this LCS issue,” Sany said.

He added that legal action must be taken against the wrongdoers to prevent a repeat of similar financial scandals of this level.

The federal Opposition party’s plea to the King for an RCI is the second after ruling parti Bersatu, which submitted its memorandum to the palace yesterday.

Bersatu information chief Wan Saiful Wan Jan said the party wants the government to start an RCI to investigate the ships that have not been delivered as scheduled.

Last Thursday, Public Accounts Committee chairman Wong Kah Woh revealed that cost overruns of the LCS project totaled RM1.4 billion, with RM400 million used to pay old debts from an old patrol vessel project.

Transparency International Malaysia likened the brewing LCS scandal to 1MDB and said the Malaysian government has now developed a reputation for misappropriating taxpayer monies.

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.

On August 8, Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein told Dewan Negara that the first of the LCS’ purchased from Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd should be ready no later than two years from now.