KUALA LUMPUR: Members of the public have been urged to not let up on the RM6 billion littoral combat ship (LCS) project and to take to task those responsible for the delay in delivering the frigates.
Muda co-founder Amir Abd Hadi, who led the protest, said it was the public’s right to voice their concerns on the issue.
“They cannot silence us. We will continue to fight for the truth and hold those responsible accountable,” he said.
He advised the public not to fall for the images of an incomplete ship from yesterday’s site visit to the Boustead Naval Shipyard in Lumut, Perak.
“It’s embarrassing because it looks the same as the one they showed us back in 2017,” he said.
Amir said defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein should resign for failing to take responsibility for the troubled project, which has seen numerous delays over the years.
About 200 people had gathered at the Sogo shopping complex from 2pm to protest the failure of the LCS project.
Protesters chanted “Hidup Rakyat” in the rain and demanded that ministers responsible for the debacle be sacked or brought to justice.
Police had earlier blocked vehicles from entering Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman in anticipation of today’s protest.
Meanwhile, Muda vice-president Shahrizal Denci questioned how Malaysia intended to fend off pirates in our waters without battleships.
“We can’t be expected to fight them off using wooden boats,” he said.
Several leaders from political parties, including Howard Lee (former DAP Youth chief) and Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (PKR vice-president), joined in the protest and gave speeches.
They said “enough is enough” and that the government must take action if there were corrupt practices in the project.
Also present were students and members of various NGOs.
Muda president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman told the media he welcomed the declassification of the governance, procurement and finance investigation committee’s report, saying it was a good move.
“However, everything must be out in the open. Do not redact any names in the report,” he said.
On Thursday, the rally’s organisers called on political leaders, NGOs and representatives of civil societies to join in the protest.
The group also called on the government to address the complaints made by then navy chief Abdul Aziz Jaafar on the purchase of the ships.
The LCS project has come under scrutiny after the Public Accounts Committee criticised the delays in the project.
The first ship, launched in 2017, had been due for completion in 2019. However, none of the six ships has been completed or delivered although RM6 billion has been spent on the project.
The protesters started dispersing shortly after 3pm.