GE15: BN-PN govt handling of LCS scandal disappointing – Wong Kah Woh

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 – The statement by caretaker prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob that the BN-PN government had never abandoned the scandalous Littoral Combatant Ship (LCS) issue and that action had been taken and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission had investigated the matter and pressed charges, is highly disappointing, said PKR candidate for Taiping, Wong Kah Woh.

Ismail’s contention that that was the end of the LSC scandal, as seen in the eyes of the BN-PN government, is highly disappointing, said Wong, who had served as chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The PAC had investigated the failure of the LSC project, which began as a procurement by the Defence Ministry of six combatant ships at an original price of RM9 billion but not even a single ship had been delivered at the time the investigation began earlier this year. The eventual completion of the ships is expected to go beyond the RM9 billion and exceed RM11 billion. The approval for the project was given in 2011.

“Up till today, the BN-PN government has failed to provide a clear picture of the direction of the LCS. When will these ships be ready, and how much more of the people’s money will be spent due to the failure of the LCS project? Another RM3 billion? RM5 billion? Another RM9 billion more?

“As for the court charges by the MACC, it is related to an incident that happened in 2010. What happened with MACC’s investigation of the events that have taken place since 2011 (the year the LCS was approved) till now? No information has been forthcoming,” Wong said in a statement Monday.

What is even more glaring is that the BN-PN government had failed to come up with a plan to protect the pension funds of the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT) due to the LCS project failure, he said.

Maybe Ismail Sabri has not realised this but LTAT Chief Executive Officer Dato Ahmad Nazim had said that the if the situation continued, it would expose the Boustead Group to a cross default loan, which will in turn put the group at a risk of falling into a PN17 status company,

Citing Ahmad Nazim, Wong said that “If this happens, LTAT itself sees the potential wiping out of about RM2.1 billion of the pension fund money at LTAT.”

Wong also cited the CEO of Boustead Sharifuddin saying that if BNS ceased to exist, Boustead Holdings and LTAT will be badly affected. The plantations sector, Pharmaniaga, Boustead Properties and Boustead Hotels all will be affected.

This will also cause LTAT to lose up to 46 percent of its fund size.

“What are the actions taken by the BN-PN government to guarantee the LTAT armed forces pension funds that will be clearly affected by the LCS scandal?”

Malaysians will be voting in their representatives to the Malaysian Parliament this Saturday, Nov 19. The early voting for the 15th General Election was held today, with voters comprising armed forces personnel and their spouses.