Mindef lodges MACC report over iffy land deals, more expected

PUTRAJAYA: The Defence Ministry has lodged a report with anti-corruption authorities over the land swap deals scandal, which cost the ministry more than RM500mil in losses.

The report lodged on Thursday (Feb 21) was over the questionable land swap deal involving the army camp built in Paloh in Kluang, Johor and in Hutan Melintang in Perak, frontpaged in The Star today (Feb 21).

The report was lodged by Mohd Nasaie Ismail, the special functions officer to Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu.

Mohd Nasaie also handed over the report on the land swap deal by the Governance, Procurement and Finance Investigating Committee led by former Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang.

He said he had received a directive to report to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) pertaining to the two army camps first.

“We (the ministry) have yet to receive orders from the government to report on the remaining 14 cases mentioned in the report. We will do so when the directive comes,” he said when met at the MACC headquarters Thursday (Feb 21).

The committee investigated 16 deals involving 2,932 acres of land belonging to the ministry.

In addition to the land value, the cost of the projects is estimated to be RM4.88bil.

Former minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz had publicly alleged that land belonging to the Armed Forces had been swapped by a company supposedly under the control of three key individuals.

However, former defence minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein denied the allegations, saying this was an “outright lie”.

His successor Mohamad Sabu was reported to have said that the Defence Ministry lost more than RM500mil from several land swap deals worth RM4.75bil.

Aside from the Paloh and Hutan Melintang camps, the ones built in Segamat in Johor and Bera in Pahang are also said to be questionable.

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