PAC corrects Najib: the LCS contract is RM9.1 billion, not RM6 billion

(Focus Malaysia) – THE Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has rubbished former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s criticism over its recent report on the delay in delivery of six combat ships to the Royal Malaysian Navy.

In a sarcastic response, its chairman Wong Kah Woh said he was perplexed as to why the Pekan MP claimed the littoral combatant ships (LCS) project only cost RM6 bil, when it was actually RM9 bil in total.

“I don’t understand PM6’s (the sixth prime minister) misunderstanding. Maybe PM6 misunderstood what PM6 misunderstood (sic). Maybe PM6 did not read the full report of the PAC.

“It’s ok, I’ll share the link to the full PAC report. Read page six… PAC says the contract was valued at RM9.128 bil.

“Who said the budget was only RM6 bil? Try clicking Ctrl-F and ‘RM9.128b’. It’s easy to find.

The Ipoh Timur MP added: “If you want to read a hardcopy, there is a copy on Pekan’s table (in the Dewan Rakyat). There are three volumes in total.

“Baca, jangan tak baca, PM6.”

The LCS project is the talk of the town after it was revealed that none of the ships have been received yet – despite RM6 bil already forked out and four years having passed since the project started.

The first LCS was contracted to be delivered in April 2019, the second in February 2020, the third in December 2020, the fourth in October 2021, the fifth in August 2022 and the sixth in June 2023.

Najib had taken to Facebook to criticise the PAC report, claiming it contained “inaccuracies” and “did not present the full picture”.

“Didn’t just make it up”

Wong, meanwhile, said Najib’s query about the first LCS being less than 44% complete at the time of its launch in 2017 wasn’t something the PAC simply wrote up, but a figure confirmed by the defence ministry.

In a statement yesterday (Aug 7), Wong also rubbished Najib’s claim that LCS1 was delivered in 2017 and not 2019. Najib purportedly attributed the claim to Wong.

“PM6 is right, 2019 is correct. The PAC chairman also said 2019. Where did PM6 see that the PAC chairman said 2017? From Google?

“Don’t be like this, PM6. Be a bit professional. After all, you are PM6. Don’t just Google. Read the full report.

“If you’re too lazy to read, the PAC chairman will help. Just read the infographic on the first page of the PAC report after the table of contents: the PAC said the LCS1 was to be delivered in April 2019.”

Wong recommended Najib take a look at the responses issued by the defence ministry, Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS) [the company that got the RM9 bil contract] and the navy over the PAC’s LCS report.

“I’ll provide the links if PM6 didn’t get to read them,” he said in a cheeky jibe.

The DAP lawmaker also noted that the PAC report wasn’t a “DAP report” but one that was written up by the 14 lawmakers in the PAC, including 3 UMNO MPs, after reaching a consensus.

He added that his earlier press statement on Friday (Aug 5) announcing the findings of the PAC report was based on the entire PAC’s consensus, and after an almost two-year investigation into the matter.

“It’s not only the view of the PAC chairman.”

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has since said his ministry will comply with all of the PAC’s recommendations for the project.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), on the other hand, has since completed its investigations into the matter for alleged graft, and has recommended charges to the Attorney-General Chambers (AGC).