By Lancelot Theseira | The Vibes

MUDA Secretary-General Amir Abdul Hadi urges the Prime Minister to investigate the matter involving the mishandling of the LCS project, and says Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein should be held responsible and resign from his cabinet post. — ABDUL RAZAK LATIF/THE VIBES

MUDA Secretary-General Amir Abdul Hadi has pleaded not guilty after being charged at the Magistrates’ Court here over his involvement in the #ManaKapalLCS protest.

His lawyer Beatrice Chin said the charge is framed under sections 9(1) and 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 and Amir was allowed to post an RM4,000 bail without conditions.

Amir said outside the courtroom that being charged will not break his spirit in fighting for transparency and fairness.

“Firstly, our message is clear. I was charged not because I stole money, but because I voiced out what was reported by the PAC (Public Accounts Committee). I didn’t just make this up.

“We want immediate action to be taken because RM6 billion of people’s money was spent. But the ‘ikan bilis’ that speak out are being charged.”

Earlier, Amir arrived at the court complex this morning to face charges for his participation in the #ManaKapalLCS protest on August 14.

The party yesterday called for members and supporters to show up in court in solidarity.

Meanwhile, in a TikTok video yesterday, Amir said he is being dragged to court not for stealing or robbery, but over the protest, which he attended here.

“The protest was on the littoral combat ships (LCS), which have yet to be delivered to the Royal Malaysian Navy. PAC has issued a report stating that RM6 billion of taxpayers’ money had been used and a few ships should have been completed.”

He reiterated that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob must investigate the matter, while Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein should be held responsible and resign from his cabinet post.

He added that the defence minister must explain the letters sent by former navy commander Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar raising concerns about possible problems emerging from the procurement process of the six LCS.

His testimony was included in the committee’s report on LCS.

Apart from Amir, several others were questioned by police over their involvement in the protest, such as MUDA co-founder Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, MUDA student leader Muhammad Syahmi, as well as former DAP central executive committee member Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali, lawyer Siti Kasim, Suaram Executive Director Sevan Doraisamy, Belia Harmoni Malaysia President Usaid Muhamad Asmadi, and one Abbas Salimmi.

More than 100 people protested against the government’s mishandling of the LCS project outside the Sogo shopping complex here on August 14, in a demonstration that ended peacefully and without any arrests.

The speakers had criticised the government for spending RM6 billion of taxpayers’ money on the procurement of six combat vessels, although none have been delivered to date.  

The rally followed the release of a report on the project by the PAC, which found several discrepancies and alleged wrongdoing.

Dang Wangi police chief Noor Dellhan Yahaya had said a total of 13 individuals would be investigated over the protest, adding that the gathering did not abide by provisions in the law.

“They were seen holding placards and banners with the words ‘national security under threat’, ‘TLDM’s readiness affected’, ‘H20 should resign’, ‘Probe where are the ships!’, ‘Where are the LCS ships’, and so on,” he said.

He added that the investigation would be done under section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.