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COMMENT | Enough meat on LCS bone for MACC to act

COMMENT | The MACC's inordinate delay and feet-dragging for several years in investigating the RM9.1 billion littoral combat ships (LCS) scandal is not only puzzling but inexcusable.

This is in stark contrast to its double-quick efforts to investigate unsubstantiated allegations by dubious parties of bribery against a judge (now in the Court of Appeal) who convicted former prime minister Najib Razak of crimes and sentenced him to 12 years in jail and fines of RM210 million.

As the name implies, an LCS is a fancy, technical name for a sophisticated naval craft built and designed to operate near the shore. Malaysia contracted to buy six ships in 2013 in a contract covering 10 years.

Nine years later, none has been delivered but over RM6 billion has mysteriously and unaccountably been paid. Then defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein said in 2017 that he took delivery of one LCS in a now infamous tweet, plain lying that is impossible to justify and which in most other countries would have led to his immediate resignation.

If the MACC requires any more evidence to proceed, the comprehensive 250-page report on the ships by the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) released on Aug 4 provides a sea of evidence from which investigation sorties could be easily launched by the anti-corruption agency, which should have done so at the first whiff of scandal.

The issue has been on the radar of the public for quite a while and it is a miracle that the MACC has picked up so few signals. All MACC chief Azam Baki can say is that investigations are in the “final stages” following several years of...

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