PAC: Declassify reports on littoral combat ship scandal

KUALA LUMPUR: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has urged for both reports on the controversial six littoral combat ships (LCS) to be fully declassified.

Its chairman, Wong Kah Woh, said based on a two-hour meeting yesterday with representatives from the Defence Ministry (Mindef) and Finance Ministry, the committee had raised the issue of the redacted parts of the reports.

He was referring to the first report by Special Investigation Committee on Public Governance, Procurement and Finance (JKSTUPKK), and the second was by shipbuilding company Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation Bhd (BHIC).

In a previous session with the PAC, BHIC told the committee that the company had received the redacted report from Mindef but yesterday, a Mindef representative said the ministry had no hand in the redacted parts.

"In the previous session, BHIC explained that the company received the redacted Forensic Report from Mindef before submitting it to the PAC Secretariat to be uploaded on the PAC website.

"However, Mindef secretary-general Datuk Seri Muez Abdul Aziz told PAC that the ministry had never received the report from BHIC and was not involved in deleting parts of the forensic report.

"PAC hereby requests that Mindef get an explanation from BHIC and submit the comments to PAC regarding what actually happened," he said awt a press conference at the Parliament building here today.

On the JKSTUPKK report, Wong said there was no necessity for the government to redact parts of the report and that PAC was "not satisfied" and "refused to accept" the explanation made by the Attorney-General's Chambers (A-GC) for the deletions.

"PAC insists that the report be fully declassified as stated in the recommendations in this committee's report and the cabinet should give such instructions."

At the same time, Wong said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had opened five investigation papers (IPs) on the LCS scandal.

Of the five IPs, one was opened in February 2021 and two in January 2022 with one of them has already been charged, another one has been submitted to the A-GC and the last IP is still under investigation.

"PAC will comment on all seven actions that Mindef has taken against the recommendations of this committee's report for LCS ship procurement and will present this report in Parliament later."

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