The country is paying billions of ringgit for offshore patrol vessels – and more sophisticated versions of these ships.
Here is some info from The Edge weekly, 9 April 2012, and Edge Financial Daily (6 April):
In 1999, the government awarded PSC Industries Bhd a contract to build 27 offshore patrol vessels at RM900m each.
The first batch of six vessels was awarded for RM5.4bn.
Saddled by heavy debt, PSCI, then controlled by Amin Shah, delivered only two vessels. Boustead Group then took over PSCI and completed the first batch.
The next batch of six vessels, to be delivered from 2017 onwards, is now priced at RM1.5bn each. Boustead claims that unlike the first batch, the new vessels have more sophisticated combat and armament capabilities. The contract was awarded to Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd, an associated company of Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd. (The rest of BNS is now owned by Boustead Holdings Bhd.)
Who is actually building the ships?
The amount of spending on such defence contracts is worrying. There is little accountability and transparency to justify the huge amounts spent on such contracts at a time when Malaysians are struggling with higher health care, education, food and housing prices.
Note: The RM31.5bn figure for 21 navy vessels was mentioned in an Edge weekly report dated 9 April. 2012).