News analysis

Coming clean on combat ship fiasco is a risky gambit for Malaysia PM Ismail and Umno

Six littoral combat ships (LCS) were commissioned in 2011 for RM9 billion (S$2.8 billion) without open tender. PHOTO: BERNAMA
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KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob's pledge to carry out a public and transparent probe into the alleged misappropriation of hundreds of millions of dollars in a naval shipbuilding project is a high-risk gambit that could backfire on ruling party Umno and the government.

Defence contractors, retired military officials and Umno politicians said that the ministerial decision on Wednesday (Aug 10) would lift the lid on the inner workings of Malaysia's defence procurement industry that has long been a source of dispensing patronage to powerful vested interest groups linked to Umno.

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