Malaysia is buying four vessels from China for the Malaysian Navy, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said. Describing it as one of the highlights of his ongoing official visit to China, Najib said two of the littoral mission ships will be built in China while the other two will be made in Malaysia. (Reuters photo)

BEIJING, China: Malaysia is buying four vessels from China for the Malaysian Navy, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said.

Describing it as one of the highlights of his ongoing official visit to China, Najib said two of the littoral mission ships will be built in China while the other two will be made in Malaysia.

“We have not bought anything worthwhile from the Chinese yet in terms of military equipment. This is a landmark decision that we have made.

“If the contract meets the requirements and satisfaction of the Navy, the number of vessels can be increased in future,” he said at a press conference with Malaysian media here.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, who was also present, said technical details on the vessels have not yet been finalised.

“What the Navy has done is transferred allocation from the SLEP (Ship Life Extension Programme) which has not resulted in cost benefit to the Navy, and that saving has been used to buy new ships built by the Chinese.

“So, it’s in the form of creative solution and they will get more value from that allocation,” Najib added.

Asked about the Malaysian companies that will be involved in building the vessels, he said this is in the process of being determined, adding that the vessels are to be built within 24 months and will be used to patrol Malaysian waters.

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