Following the RM9 billion Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) scandal, it appears that there’s a new scandal that involves the delivery of three offshore patrol vessels (OPV).
The matter was brought to attention by Perak Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa as he alleged that the delivery of the OPVs was supposed to be completed in 2020, but none of them were delivered.
According to a report by NST, Mujahid has since urged the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to thoroughly investigate the procurement of OPVs to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).
It is understood that the first delivery is scheduled to take place in February that year, the second in May and the final vessel unit by August. However, the project is far behind schedule.
“Tabung Haji Heavy Engineering Bhd (THHE) was awarded an RM738.9 million contract and this is where the problems come in. THHE is responsible for the supply, delivery, test and commissioning of the OPVs,” he said.
In addition, Mujahid also questioned the government’s decision to award the contract via direct negotiation, despite THHE having no expertise in building ships.
“How did the contract get awarded to THHE despite these issues? First, THHE has no known expertise in shipbuilding. The chairman at that time was Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim. He got the contract via direct negotiation from Datuk Seri Najib Razak who was the Prime Minister at that time.”
“At that time, MMEA was under the Prime Minister’s Department before it was moved to the Home Ministry when PH took over the government in 2018.”
He also pointed out that one of the requirements in the contract is that THHE needed a joint venture (JV) with another company to build the vessels.
“It was evident that the government knew that THHE had no expertise in building ships, but yet they were still awarded the contract. Following this, THHE established a JV with a company named Destini Sdn Bhd where 51% of the stake was held by Destini and the balance, 49% is held by THHE,” he said.
However, he did not mention the owner of Destini Bhd and said he will only reveal it at a later date.
He continues saying that the government had spent RM500 million out of the RM738.9 million price tag, but MMEA has yet to receive a single vessel until today.
In February this year, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin confirmed that the delivery of MMEA’s three OPVs had been delayed, but he did not reveal the new delivery dates.
The first OPV named Tun Fatimah was expected to be delivered this year with the second one in 2023 and the third in 2024.