The Malaysian government has allocated RM6bn ($196.2m) to build six, second-generation patrol vessels for the Royal Malaysian Navy, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.

“We will ensure that at least RM2bn ($654m) of the allocation will benefit these vendor companies, which are strategic partners of Boustead Naval Shipyard,” he added.

The construction of the ships will begin next year and will be monitored by the minister himself to ensure there is no delay in paying the vendors.

The Lumut-Bagan Datoh coastal area has been identified as a world-class shipyard that is to be developed over the next ten to 20 years, according to Bernama.

Ahmad Zahid said the government was trying to attract more defence industry-based projects to the country, including shipbuilding.