The Ministry of Defense should from time to time present a substantive plan on military procurement to the parliamentary special committee on defense and security involving all stakeholders.
Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Wong Kah Woh said the issue was among the recommendations made to the ministry following the PAC’s report on the acquisition of the Royal Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Malaysian (TLDM).
Wong said the administration of government contracts should be streamlined to minimize change orders, to avoid an increase in project cost.
He said the PAC also recommended that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) take action on all the findings of the PAC, the Special Committee on Governance, Procurement and Finance Inquiry ( JKSTUPKK) and the forensic audit report, with prosecution to be expedited.
“The incident over the design change of the LCS ship from Sigma to (type) Gowind should be a lesson for future purchases.
“The procurement of national defense equipment and assets should prioritize the needs of the end user, which is TLDM in this case, and in general, for all projects and procurement in the future in accordance with the Book white on defense 2020-2030,” he said. said today at a press conference in Parliament.
Another recommendation made by the PAC is that the Ministry of Defense examine all options and define the best direction for the LCS project to ensure that public money is spent responsibly, and that the Ministry reports progress on the LCS every three months until the project. is finished.
Wong said PAC held nine proceedings regarding the LCS issue, the first on November 18, 2020 and the last on March 8, where multiple witnesses were called to testify.
Witnesses included Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, Ministry General Secretary Muez Abd Aziz, JKSTUPKK Chairman Ambrin Buang and Navy Commander Mohd Reza Sany.
He said the outcome of the procedure revealed that the LCS project had been awarded to Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS) through direct negotiations, with the government paying RM6.083 billion, but no LCS ship. had been completed despite the initial schedule indicating that five ships would be ready for delivery by August 2022.
“The government’s due diligence on BNS failed to detect the company’s financial problems.
“This was proven when the government had to make advances of up to RM1.36 billion to the SNB contrary to Treasury Circular No. 5 of 2007 which was in effect at the time,” he said. he declared.
He said PAC concluded that TLDM as an end user had been ignored by the MoD and BNS in the implementation of the LCS project.
The original LCS design was Sigma, selected by TLDM and approved by the defense minister, he said. However, this was changed to the Gowind design on July 11, 2011 at the suggestion of BNS which was presented to the Minister of Defense on July 8, 2011.