Coverage by: The Vibes
KUALA LUMPUR – The Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) has expressed bemusement over how key individuals supposedly involved in the littoral combat ship (LCS) scandal have continued to escape scrutiny.
Underscoring its point, C4 named former Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation (BHIC) chairman Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin as one of the more prominent figures involved in the LCS project yet to face investigation.
The anti-graft non-governmental organisation also noted how Lodin was similarly entangled in the contentious multibillion-ringgit Scorpene submarine deal.
Speaking at a press conference today, C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel said Lodin held key positions in several companies linked to both defence contracts.
“The revelations over the (control) he has had over LCS and his previous involvement in the Scorpene deal is shocking. One man behind the scenes appears to be controlling so many companies.”
Lodin, who is said to be a close associate to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, was a former chief executive officer of the Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT), the parent company of BHIC.
He had also served as deputy chairman of Boustead Holdings Bhd and chairman of Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS), the firm which was appointed by the government as the main contractor for the LCS project.
Lodin also previously served as the director of Perimekar Sdn Bhd, the company wholly owned by another of Najib’s close associates, Abdul Razak Baginda, and was previously linked to the Scorpene scandal.
Separately, he sat on the board of Affin Bank, which is one of Perimekar’s financiers and which had approved loans for BNS to carry out the LCS project.
Gabriel bemoaned the conflict of interest involving Lodin in companies implicated in the government’s defence procurement, lamenting how he was able to freely abuse his role due to the extensive powers he had over the firms.
“He’s in Affin Bank, LTAT, Boustead, among others. This is what we call in the anti-corruption narrative as enablers for corruption. Lodin was all over the place, but somehow escaped scrutiny.”
In this regard, C4 is demanding that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) explain its continued silence and refusal to initiate a probe into key figures in the Scorpene and LCS scandals.
Other than Lodin, the group wants Najib, and former deputy prime minister and defence minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to be similarly investigated over the contentious projects.
To date, only former navy chief Tan Sri Ahmad Ramli Mohd Nor has been charged in court over the LCS project, after he was slapped with three charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT) at the Kuala Lumpur sessions court on August 16.
Additionally, C4 wants MACC to release all its findings to date pertaining to its investigations into the LCS scandal.
“Where is MACC? What are they doing? Their silence is really deafening,” said Gabriel.
Meanwhile, she said C4 is currently contemplating submitting a memorandum to MACC to pressure the anti-graft body to act against other individuals who have been implicated in the scandals.
“We will invite the media to the event. Maybe before the end of the month or by early October,” she said, while urging Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to not protect “criminals, crooks and cronies” who allegedly had a hand in the projects.
The Vibes is reaching out to Lodin for his comments on C4’s allegations. – The Vibes, September 21, 2022