Don’t deny it, you’re involved in LCS project, Liew tells Zahid

(FMT) – Liew Chin Tong has called out Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for denying he had been involved in the RM6 billion littoral combat ship (LCS) project.

In a report on Umno Online, the former deputy prime minister said he should not be blamed for the problems plaguing the project as the contract was awarded in 2014, a year after his term as defence minister ended.

However, Liew, who had served as deputy defence minister under the former Pakatan Harapan government, said the project was first approved by Zahid when he was defence minister in 2011.

“Zahid must take responsibility for the misappropriation of funds and the failure of the LCS project.

“He must not try to shirk responsibility and must answer to the people immediately,” he said on Facebook.

Liew added that Zahid had approved of the change in the ship specifications from the initial Sigma design, as chosen by the navy, to the Gowind model, based on the recommendation of the project contractor, Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS).

He also cited statements from those called by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on the LCS project to show the timeline for the project approval and the changes made.

Last Thursday, PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh said the defence ministry and BNS, had ignored the navy’s views on the LCS project.

Wong said not a single ship had been completed although Putrajaya had spent RM6 billion on the project, which was given to BNS via direct negotiations.

He added that the navy should have received five of the ships by August this year.

Zahid was among the top officials summoned by the PAC as he was the defence minister in 2011.