KUALA LUMPUR: The Defence Ministry plans to form a Defence Investment Committee as part of efforts to prevent and avoid irregularities in the procurement of assets by the ministry.

Its deputy minister, Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz said the setting up of the committee was among the recommendations in the Defence White Paper.

"Insya Allah, this committee will decide on policy and make decisions relating to asset procurement, especially high-value strategic assets that require decisions to be made collectively, apart from taking into account the needs of the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM)," he during the question and answer session in the Dewan Rakyat today.

He was responding to a question from Ahmad Fadhli Shaari (PAS-Pasir Mas) on whether the ministry had updated the procedure in awarding construction contracts following the issue of the littoral combat ship (LCS) project.

To a supplementary question from Ahmad Fadhli on the deadline for the construction of LCS 1, Ikmal Hisham said 94 per cent of the detailed design for the ship had been completed by Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS), which is the contractor.

"On the detailed design, it is being negotiated by BNS with Naval Group from France, this is important to ensure that what is decided later will meet the needs of the Royal Malaysian Navy as the end user.

"The Naval Group has also decided that its technical team will conduct an audit of the detailed design this month," he said.