LCS scandal, inflation may affect BN's chances in polls

Khoo Gek San

MCA secretary-general Chong Sin Woon says the littoral combat scandal and soaring inflation have given the opposition plenty of ammunition against Barisan Nasional. - The Malaysian Insight pic by Afif Abd Halim, August 17, 2022.

THE littoral combat ship (LCS) scandal and the rising cost of living could prove problematic for Barisan Nasional at the upcoming general election, MCA secretary-general Chong Sin Woon said.

Chong said BN should have held general elections immediately after the Johor election as the coalition had gained momentum and it was the perfect time to hold polls.

With this LCS scandal, Wong said, the opposition parties now have ammunition to use against BN.

“This is the opposition party’s tactic, just like they hyped up the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal to win the last GE,” Chong told The Malaysian Insight.

“BN must learn from its past mistakes and not repeat them.”

Last week, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) released its report on the Defence Ministry’s purchase of six LCSs from BNS through direct negotiations.

Although the government had paid the manufacturer RM6 billion, not a single ship had been delivered.

According to the original schedule, five LCSs should have been delivered to the ministry this month.

Chong said a royal commission of inquiry should be set up to investigate the LCS scandal.

“The whole coalition should not be dragged down because of this, and BN cannot just explain it away.

“While we don’t know when GE15 will be held, we don’t want the LCS to be held over our heads.

“BN should not give the impression that it is trying to cover up the LCS scandal, it must get ahead of it.”

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has also ordered the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) to speed up investigations.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had earlier said that given the rate of inflation, it would not be wise to hold the general elections next year.

Ismail, however, has held on despite pressure from his party leader, insisting that an election would only be called when it was favourable to BN.

Chong said inflation and the rising cost of living was a global problem, but it was disheartening to see measures implemented according to the wishes of political parties due to the composition of Ismail’s government.

He said effective measures could only be put in place when a sole party governed, instead of “having too many cooks in the kitchen.”

“Investors will also doubt the stability of a multi-party government.”

Only when BN came back to power without the need for other political alliances would political and economic stability be achieved, Chong added. – August 17, 2022.

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