Defence ministry wants RM180 mil for delay in combat ship delivery

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KUALA LUMPUR: The defence ministry has issued a notice of claim for liquidated and ascertained damages (LAD) amounting to RM180 million over the delay in procurement of the littoral combat ship (LCS).

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Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the notice was issued after the ministry conducted an investigation into Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) following a report on the delay.

“From the total amount of RM180 million, RM80.6 million was collected through set-off in October 2020,” he said when winding up the debate on the 2021 supply bill in the Dewan Negara today.

The LCS construction project, worth RM9.128 billion, was awarded to BNS by the government through the ministry of defence and a total of RM6 billion has been paid for the the building of six ships.

However, to date, not a single LCS has been handed over to the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN), although the contract agreement, signed in January 2014, stipulates that the first vessel was due to be handed over to the government in April 2019.

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The issue was reported in the Auditor-General’s Report 2019 and the Governance, Procurement and Finance Investigation Committee Investigation Report published last year.

Following this, the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said it would call up former defence minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi regarding the issue of non-delivery of LCS to the navy.

PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh said former RMN chief Aziz Jaafar and the main contractor of the LCS project, BNS, would also be called.

Zahid said the failure to supply the vessels arose in 2019 when he no longer held the post of defence minister.

According to him, he held the post from April 2009 to May 2013, stressing that he had no knowledge of the non-delivery. FMT

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