Patriot: Heads must roll over corrupt Mindef land swap deals

  • Nation
  • Friday, 22 Feb 2019

PETALING JAYA: Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (Patriot) wants heads to roll following revelations by the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) that there was corruption in land swap deals involving the military.

Its president Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji said he believed the 16 land swap cases uncovered and reported by Mindef in the past few days were only the tip of the iceberg.

He said the cases involved lopsided contracts or contracts implemented without proper due diligence.

In a statement on Friday (Feb 22), Arshad said Mindef must state clearly if the 16 land swap cases were conducted through a privatised company, as alleged previously, and if cronies were acting as middleman.

“The suspected modus operandi in the land swap would be for the crony company acting as middleman to undergo revaluation of prime military land.

“The difference in the high-value military land and the new low-value acquired land in the remote areas in the land swap deals would ensure huge profits for the cronies,” he said, adding that part of the profits could be part of the 1MDB debt rationalisation programme.

As for the uncompleted military camps, such as Hutan Melintang, Segamat, Paloh and Bera, Arshad claimed these camps were constructed not based on needs but to help secure votes for the Barisan Nasional politicians.

“It is a pity that top brass of the military then did not have the gumption to put their feet down against their political masters.

"It is a sad reflection of the overall decadence and politics of patronism that has engulfed our nation for decades. It is also a reflection of declining military leadership values that Patriot often mentions,” he said.

On Wednesday (Feb 20), Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu claimed that several of his predecessors swapped land and built army bases in four areas despite opposition from the armed forces because “politicians needed to secure their positions.”

He said the armed forces had opposed the building of four army bases in Hutan Melintang in Perak, Segamat and Paloh in Johor, and Bera in Pahang but Mindef went ahead anyway.

Mohamad said according to a report from the Governance, Procurement and Finance Investigating Committee led by former auditor-general Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, Mindef lost over RM500mil from several land swap deals involving plots worth RM4.75bil.

The minister said the committee investigated 16 deals involving 1,138ha of land belonging to the ministry, with the cost of projects estimated at RM4.88bil.

“Patriots are members who have served the king and country with honour and pride. It pains us to see the military institution put in a situation of shameful disrepute. For those responsible, heads must roll,” said Arshad.

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