Building warships ‘isn’t like playing with Lego’, says Chin Tong to LTAT chief for LCS scandal defense


DAP’s Liew Chin Tong speaks at DAP headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on July 13, 2022. — Photo by Ahmad Zamzahuri

By Ashman Adam

Wednesday, August 10, 2022 7:26 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, August 10 – The remarks of the Director General of the Armed Forces Pension Fund (LTAT), Datuk Ahmad Nazim Abdul Rahman, on the Coastal Combat Vessels (LCS) scandal revealed his ignorance of shipbuilding and his own role, said former Deputy Defense Minister Liew Chin Tong.

The DAP lawmaker called Nazim’s statement shocking and suggested that he resign his post to join politics if he wanted to be “political like Datuk Seri Najib Razak”.

Liew took issue with Nazim’s insistence that the completed hull of the LCS could be seen en route to Pangkor Island as well as the latter’s points on bulk purchases of equipment and debt repayment.

“What’s the point of having a large skeleton or hull with no wiring, no weapons, and no equipment?” Unfortunately, the detailed design of the LCS which should have been completed in November 2016 remains at around 80% now in 2022.

“Building warships is not like building Lego ships,” he said in a statement.

He added that ships the size of LCS have wiring and piping systems at least 300 km long, and require meticulous planning to complete.

Although not visible from the outside, Lim said the two were just some of the examples that showed that building a combat ship was much more complicated than a “visible hull of the sea near the island of Pangkor”.

On Nazim’s insistence that LCS equipment should be purchased in bulk for cost savings, Lim said this was debunked by former Auditor General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang who told the Committee of Public Accounts (PAC) in December 2020 that the LCS contract was signed without finalized drawings.

“Why buy hardware before the design is finalized? It’s not like playing Lego, where you can put in and take out pieces as you please.

“Additionally, 15% of equipment purchased in bulk is now obsolete and obsolete,” he said.

Liew said the outrageous waste resulted from purchasing systems before deciding on a final design, as it precluded any possibility of modifying or tampering with the purchase.

Liew then denounced Nazim as unsuitable to be LTAT’s Managing Director given that the latter believed it was acceptable for the LCS prime contractor to use project payments for a Next Generation Patrol Vessel project ( NGPV) distinct but equally troubled.

“How can he agree that the use of embezzled LCS funds for the ‘bailout’ of the NGPV project is reasonable and acceptable?

“One day, the LTAT fund may also be diverted for the “bailout” of other projects. Embezzlement is criminal and cannot be ruled out,” he said.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Nazim sought to explain why none of the six government-purchased LCSs have yet been completed.

He said he personally saw the construction of the six ships at the Lumut shipyard, adding that others can also see the progress of the ships if they take a boat to Pangkor Island.

Nazim also added that the RM6 billion spent so far was on a bulk order of equipment to build the ships, explaining that it would be cheaper than buying equipment individually.

He also said some of the money for the ships was used to pay off debt incurred by a previous company that Boustead Holdings and Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS) had to cover after taking over the project.

Last Thursday, Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Wong Kah Woh disclosed that the LCS project cost overruns amounted to RM1.4 billion, of which RM400 million was used to pay off old debts. of an old patrol boat project.

Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) compared the brewing LCS scandal to 1MDB and said the Malaysian government now has a reputation for misappropriating taxpayers’ money.

The LCS project is the largest contract in Mindef’s history with a total cost of RM9 billion.

The said contract started in 2013 with a duration of ten years and six LCS ships were to be built and delivered to the country by the end of 2023.

On August 8, Defense Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein told Dewan Negara that the first of the LCS purchased from Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS) should be ready no later than two years from now.


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