No probe yet as MACC studies Mindef deals report

  • Nation
  • Friday, 22 Feb 2019

PUTRAJAYA: The anti-graft agency says it needs time to determine if there are grounds to launch an investigation into questionable land swap deals involving the Defence Ministry (Mindef).

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Seri Azam Baki said the body received a copy of the findings by the Governance, Procurement and Finance Investigating Committee led by former auditor-general Tan Sri Ambrin Buang on the matter.

Mindef yesterday lodged a report with the MACC on the land swap deals involving army camps built in Paloh in Kluang, Johor, and Hutan Melintang in Perak.

The report was lodged by Mohd Nasaie Ismail, who is the special functions officer to Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu. He also handed over to the MACC the report on the findings of the investigating committee.

Nasaie said the government’s directive was to report to the MACC issues pertaining to the two army camps first.

“We (Mindef) 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.

The committee investigated 16 deals involving 1,183ha of land belonging to the ministry.

Besides the land value, the cost of the projects was estimated at RM4.88bil.

Nasaie said the projects in Paloh and Hutan Melintang were not included in Mindef’s development plans under the 11th Malaysia Plan, claiming that they were only built due to “political factors”.

He claimed that there was proof of voters among army personnel and their spouses being transferred to these camps, adding that all the information was available in the report by the investigating committee.

Asked if the electoral roll for the 14th General Election included army personnel in the two camps, Nasaie said only voters in the Hutan Melintang camp were included.

He said there were also doubts on how the land was valued by the previous administration, adding that the report stated that the plot in Kinrara was fixed at RM500mil when it was valued at RM758mil by the Valuation and Property Services Department at about the same time in May 2015.

“The then government directed that the land for the camp in Paloh be purchased at RM10.47mil for 24.8ha, when the department valued it at RM7.28mil,” Nasaie added.

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