Veterans concerned about LCS fiasco

KUALA LUMPUR: Two prominent veterans have voiced their concerns over the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project scandal.

Retired Royal Malaysian Navy senior officer and former Maritime Institute of Malaysia director-general First-Admiral (Rtd) Datuk Chin Yoon Chin said if the issue dragged on, the navy's capabilities would be affected.

"With limited assets, the situation will leave gaps in the navy, thus encouraging all sorts of illegal maritime shortfalls.

"Additionally, the navy will have to prioritise its operations accordingly."

Chin said the navy's assets were getting old and it would be expensive to maintain them.

He said getting the LCS hulls that were ready before 2017 operational again might require extra costs.

"Also, the equipment bought and kept thus far need upgrading before they can be made operational. This will incur extra costs again."

Chin called on the navy, government, treasury and shipyard to come to a mitigated agreement to resolve the fiasco.

"They need to do this so that the navy ships can be used before Malaysia's maritime security is compromised.

"For future procurements, the end-user should have the final say on what the needs are to ensure security is not easily breached.

"Also, the equipment bought should fulfil the intended jobs fully."

National Patriots Association president Brigadier-General (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji asked how Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein could be so sure that the LCS would eventually be delivered.

"If Boustead Heavy Industries cannot complete the project within schedule (10 years already) and when RM6 billion has evaporated into thin air, what makes him so confident that the ships (total not told) will be delivered in two years' time?

"Will more money be injected into the project? Why not award the project to others that have proven records in shipbuilding? Why not try Petronas?"

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