One of alternatives model for patrol vessel (photo : Bernama)
LUMUT, (Bernama) -- The government has agreed to allocate RM6 billion to build six second generation patrol vessels for the Royal Malaysian Navy, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Saturday.
The construction of the ships will boost the economy while benefiting 632 vendor companies, he told reporters here after a briefing on the project.
"Thus, we will ensure that at least RM2 billion of the allocation will benefit these vendor companies which are strategic partners of Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd," he added.
Ahmad Zahid said that he would himself monitor the progress of the project, due to start next year, and ensure that all concerned benefit from it and that there was no delay in paying the vendors.
He said that Boustead Naval Shipyard had constructed several new generation vessels for the RMN and shown itself to be on par with other ship builders in the world.
Ahmad Zahid also said the Lumut-Bagan Datoh coastal area here has been identified for a world-class shipyard to be developed over the next 10 to 20 years.
He said the defence industry, including shipping, had immense potential in the Asean region and now generated income of US$25 billion a year.
If Malaysia could attract at least 20 per cent of the defence spending, US$5 billion or RM15 billion could be generated by companies in the country, he said.
Ahmad Zahid the government was now trying to attract more defence industry-based projects, including ship building, to the country.