KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 — Umno's divisional leaders are gathering at the party's headquarters here for an emergency meeting with president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, to discuss the party's future, after several controversial developments in recent days.

It is not yet known what are the discussions going to be centered on and if any decision would be made given the controversies surrounding the nationalist party over the latest Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project, among several others.

Among the attendees noted were Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin and Umno veteran Tan Sri Shahrir Samad.Malay Mail was made to understand that the meeting would be discussing the LCS scandal and empowering solidarity for convicted former prime minister and ex-Umno president, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Not all divisional leaders are present for the meeting at the moment.


Other leaders seen at the World Trade Centre (WTC) here include Datuk Seri Bung Mokhtar, Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail and Datuk Seri Ahmad Syed.

Umno has in recent days seemingly found itself stuck in mud, following the LCS revelations, in addition to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) related financial scandals which implicated Najib, leading to his conviction.

Last December, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s July 2020 verdict and sentence of 12 years in prison and a fine of RM210 million against Najib for misappropriating funds from SRC International Sdn Bhd.


The case is now at the Federal Court and it is Najib’s last chance to convince the judges his conviction and punishment should be overturned.

Hearing in the country’s supreme court is scheduled to take place over nine days from August 15 till August 19 and resume after the weekend on August 23 until August 26.

The LCS scandal recently also implicated Najib and Ahmad Zahid; with the latter previously denying involvement in the project.

Last week, the Report of the Government Governance, Procurement and Finance Investigation Committee (JKSTUPKK) on the construction project of six LCS revealed that Ahmad Zahid who was then defence minister, had changed the design of the LCS ships from the Sigma to Gowind model in 2011, contrary to what the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) wanted.

The report which was declassified and published on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) portal said Ahmad Zahid initially agreed with RMN’s decision to choose the Sigma design from the Netherlands, after being briefed by RMN on May 26, 2011.

According to the report, this came two days after Ahmad Zahid received a letter from BNS on July 8, 2011 recommending the selection of the Gowind design, before BNS issued a letter of intent to French subcontractor company DCNS on July 13, 2011 to begin the concept design and design evaluation process.

The LCS project is the largest procurement in the history of the Ministry of Defence (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.Cost overruns for the LCS project totalled RM1.4 billion, with RM400 million used to pay old debts from an old patrol vessel project, PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh said on August 4.

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 and that not even one ship was delivered, when five should have been, this month.