Mujahid urges PAC to investigate OPV ships issue

02 Sep 2022 02:19pm
Mujahid (middle) during a press conference in Jelapang Square on Friday.
Mujahid (middle) during a press conference in Jelapang Square on Friday.

IPOH - The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has been urged to initiate an investigation on the construction of three offshore patrol vehicles (OPV) which the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has yet to receive until now.

Amanah vice president Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof said this was because the case was similar to that of the littoral combat ships' (LCS) case which was previously exposed.

He added that there were also several dubious matters detected regarding the contract that was awarded to TH Heavy Engineering Berhad (TH Heavy) to build the ships when the company did not even have the expertise to do so.

"How was the contract awarded through direct negotiation? TH Heavy had a few problems. In the contract, they are not experts in constructing ships. The contract has been questioned since the beginning. Even worse than that, I want to inform that when TH Heavy received the contract in 2017, they stated under the conditions that they must cooperate with another company.

"So, they have to find an expert in constructing the ships. Thus, there was a cooperation between TH Heavy that held 49 per cent of the stake and the other company Destini Sdn Bhd that owned 51 per cent of the stake in this project," he told reporters during the press conference at Jelapang Square on Friday.

He said when the contract was awarded, then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and then Tabung Haji (TH) chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim knew about the expertise to build ships but had awarded the contract to the company anyway.

Mujahid who was Perak Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman said the ships that were supposed to be handed over in 2020 in stages have yet to be seen or given to the MMEA.

"I demand the PAC to immediately investigate the OPV delay. My concern is that this case is similar to that of LCS. Delays due to problems. What I am saying is today there is an OPV scandal which caused delay. I want to say that the project is worth RM738.9 million and RM500 has been spent.

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"When RM500 million is spent without a single ship arriving, this is worrying and we could dispute what happened throughout the two-year delay," he said.

Mujahid said when he was the minister in the prime minister's department (religious affairs) in 2018, TH Heavy was one of the 29 "sick" companies under TH.

He said although TH held shares as much as 30 per cent in TH Heavy, the company was forced to moved to a special purpose vehicle (SPV) company under the Finance Ministry Incorporated to save TH.

He said the parties involved including the government had to answer the questions raised regarding the contract award and failure to complete the country's security asset.

On Aug 10, it was reported that questions arised about the status of the three MMEA OPV ships when the agency had yet to receive them.

The agency was supposed to receive an OPV ship in August after the government granted an extension of 18 months to TH Heavy to complete building the three ships.