Building LMS in China does not take away Malaysians’ job, says Mindef

The high-skilled jobs are still intact as the job opportunities will still remain at Boustead Naval

by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / pic by TMR FILE

THE government’s decision to continue building four littoral mission ships (LMS) in China will not threaten job prospects for Malaysian companies.

The Defence Ministry (Mindef) said in a statement that China has agreed to source expertise from Malaysia through Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS), a local shipbuilder that won the contract to initially build two of the vessels in 2017.

“The government’s decision to build the LMS in China will not pose a negative impact on the negotiations to transfer technology and knowledge for the construction. It will also not affect Malaysia’s reliance on China.

“This is because China has agreed to implement the technology and knowledge transfer programmes through BNS and other identified vendors in the maintenance, repair and operations, and logistic services,” Mindef said yesterday.

The decision has been endorsed by the Royal Malaysian Navy (TLDM) as the project concerns national assets and will help reduce the country’s military reliance on other countries.

“The decision has received support from the TLDM, particularly in maintaining and repairing works of the national assets, and at the same time, this will reduce Malaysia’s military dependence on other countries,” Mindef said.

The ministry added that the high-skilled jobs in the country are still intact as the job opportunities will still remain at BNS.

“The contract to build the LMS was signed between the government and BNS. Although the vessels are all being built in China, Malaysia will not lose high-skilled jobs as the TLDM will ensure that they still require this type of jobs.

“If there is a need, high-skilled workers can improve themselves through technology and knowledge transfer,” the ministry said.

BNS will also still benefit through the construction of littoral combat ship, another BNS’ project at its 120-acre (48.6ha) facility in Lumut, Perak.

BNS, a subsidiary of Boustead Holdings Bhd, won a contract to initially build two of the four LMS for RM1.17 billion, while the remaining vessels would be built by China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Co Ltd in China.

In October 2018, the government revised the plan for the LMS and shifted all the building works to China.

Last month, Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu (picture) said the revised plan saved the government RM122 million. Upon completion, Mohamad said the vessels will be operating in Sabah and Sarawak waters, including Layang-Layang Island.