Anwar must explain U-turn on LCS project, says activist

(FMT) – Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim must explain why the government has decided to go ahead with the scandal-hit RM9 billion littoral combat ship (LCS) project, says activist Kua Kia Soong.

The former Petaling Jaya MP pointed out that when Anwar was the opposition leader, he had called for the scrapping of the next phase of the LCS project, saying the funds should be redirected to assist the public instead.

Kua also urged Anwar to assure Malaysians the government is determined to get to the bottom of the scandal linked to deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who was the defence minister when the project was approved.

“Anwar had said there was clearly a misappropriation of funds and leakages as well as ‘massive corruption’,” he said in a statement.

“Anwar had also called for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate all concerned, including the (then) defence minister and the ministry’s secretary-general.

“By carrying on with this LCS project, Anwar has basically gone back on his stance before GE15 when he was the opposition leader.”

Yesterday, defence minister Mohamad Hasan said the government will go ahead with the project.

Bernama quoted Mohamad, who is the Umno deputy president, as saying the construction of the ships will proceed as part of strengthening the country’s and the navy’s defences.

The project came under scrutiny last year after the Public Accounts Committee revealed that not a single ship had been completed although Putrajaya had spent RM6.08 billion on it.

In March last year, the Ismail Sabri Yaakob-led administration decided to proceed with the project, before the release of the PAC report in August.

MACC, which investigated the project, has recommended that several individuals be charged.