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THERE will be no additional funds allocated if the Royal Malaysian Navy’s first littoral combat ship (LCS) is not completed on schedule, Senior Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said.
He said his focus now is to ensure that the first LCS can be completed soon.
“If the party concerned cannot hand over the ship within the specified time with the existing provisions, how can we be confident that they can meet our needs for the other ships?
“So I want to see that what has been planned, what has been presented to the cabinet and what I have told Dewan Negara can be completed, and the test is the first ship. This first ship will not receive the latest injection of funds,” he said.
He told a news conference after attending a Jalur Gemilang flag launching ceremony in conjunction with the National Month Celebration at the Defence Ministry and the 50th Golden Jubilee of the Armed Forces Fund Board, at Wisma Pertahanan, today.,
However, Hishammuddin did not rule out additional funds for the construction of the next LCSs.
“Prove to me that we can complete the first LCS first. If the first ship cannot even be completed as per agenda under our plan now, there is no point in thinking about additional funds,” he said.
He said claims that there were no progress in the construction of the LCS is untrue, as the asset is in various stages of construction.
“The important thing is, we all hope there is honest planning and presentation. The first ship, the second and so on. There are other plans such as the construction of a second littoral mission ship (LMS), but we hope it can be fulfilled and delivered to the Royal Malaysian Navy,” he said.
On the subject of establishing a royal commission of inquiry (RCI), Hishammuddin said all matters are being discussed in the cabinet and the recommendations will be presented to Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah for his views.
Yesterday, Hishammuddin, while winding up the debate on the motion on the LCS project in Dewan Negara, said he would bring the proposal by several senators regarding the establishment of an RCI to investigate the LCS scandal to the cabinet today. – Bernama, August 17, 2022.