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LCS 1 launched in 2017 was actual vessel, not a dummy, says former Navy chief

PETALING JAYA: The littoral combat ship (LCS) launched in Lumut in 2017 was not a dummy but was the actual vessel under construction, says former Royal Malaysian Navy chief Admiral (Rtd) Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin.

He was responding to allegations on social media that the launch of KD Maharajalela (referred to as LCS 1) was just for show and that the actual ship was not at the event.

He explained that it is a long-standing naval tradition to have a launch and naming ceremony for combat ships which are yet to be fully built.

He said the tradition is also practised in other parts of the world, adding that the same was done for the LCS built by France’s Naval Group for the United Arab Emirates.

“Claims that the LCS launched in Lumut in 2017 was to dupe and confuse the people are false,” he said in a statement on Wednesday (Aug 10).

“The ship launched in Lumut then was the actual LCS 1 that was under construction and not a dummy. This includes the mast that was also said to be fake,” he said.

He also included the explanation by Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Capt (B) Ir Azhar Jumaat on its launch and naming ceremony to the Public Accounts Committee in December.

Azhar was also the director-general for the LCS Project for the Navy from 2012 to 2016.

Ahmad Kamarulzaman said he felt compelled to set the record straight to protect the dignity and good name of the Navy.

He also told people to refrain from “creating issues” for their own interests which could confuse the public. – NST

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