Ismail Sabri: Decision to continue LCS project not to serve contractor’s interests

Ismail Sabri: Decision to continue LCS project not to serve contractor’s interests

KUALA LUMPUR: The Cabinet’s decision to continue with the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project was in the interest of the Royal Malaysian Navy and not to protect the contractors.

Senior Minister of Defence Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government’s and Navy’s interests were taken into consideration and prioritised through the decision.

“The statement by former Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu that the Cabinet made the decision to protect the contractor is untrue but as a responsible government, the decision took into consideration current situations, the capabilities of the contractor, and the economic impact.

“I view Mohamad’s statement regarding the government’s decision about the LCS procurement seriously,” he said in a statement today.

Ismail Sabri said an in-depth study on all the aspects of the project was conducted and the Cabinet found there were more benefits for the government and Malaysians to continue with the project.

“The government has spent RM6 billion and if it was stopped, the money will not be returned fully and the government would have to spend even more to appoint a new contractor.

“All this will take a long time and the project will be delayed and it can affect our naval preparedness,” he said.

Ismail Sabri said the government’s decision to carry on with the project will not only save the jobs of 8,000 workers but also hundreds of local vendors and contractors.

He said Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS) had submitted a detailed plan early this year to continue the project, which showed their commitment and willingness to complete it, and the Cabinet agreed in principle to allow Boustead to carry on with it.

“The next step is for the government to inform Boustead officially about the decision together with the project implementation plan.

“The detailed design of the LCS is 96 per cent completed and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. In fact, the Naval Group is still assisting Boustead to complete the project,” he said. –BERNAMA