Mat Sabu: Up to Cabinet to make public report on Mindef land swaps


KUALA LUMPUR: It is up to the Cabinet to decide whether to make public the report on the more than RM500mil losses suffered by the Defence Ministry through land swap deals, says its minister Mohamad Sabu.

"The committee submitted its preliminary report, particularly on the land swaps, which was tabled in Cabinet.

"Cabinet will decide whether the report can be distributed to MPs and be made public," he said when replying to a question by Chan Lih Kang (Pakatan-Tanjong Malim) during Minister's Question Time in Parliament Thursday (March 14).

He said the report was prepared by the special investigative committee on procurement, governance and finance headed by former Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang.

Mohamad said the questionable land swap was currently under investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

"As the case is under investigations by the MACC, I will not elaborate further on the matter," he said.

The probe is in connection with land swap deals involving 16 projects dating back to 1997.

The deals involved 1,186ha of Defence Ministry land valued at RM4.75bil, with project costs at RM4.88bil.

To another supplementary question by Ramkarpal Singh (Pakatan-Bukit Gelugor), Mohamad said the government was willing to work with French investigators probing the Scorpene submarine deal.

"Cooperating with any authority investigating a case has always been our government's stand," he said.

Ramkarpal wanted to know if assistance would be given to the French investigators in light of murdered Mongolian national Altantuya Shariibu's name also having been mentioned in their probe.

"Her name was revealed in the Scorpene sale contracts.

"So there is a possibility that she was involved in the deal, which is now under a graft investigation," he said.

In November last year's, the MACC reopened its probe into the purchase of two Scorpene-class submarines and one Agosta-class submarine from French naval dockyard DCN International, worth nearly €1bil (RM4.7bil).

The deals were made in 2002 during Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's tenure as Defence Minister.

There have been allegations of suspected kickbacks linked to the deal. Altantuya was brutally murdered in Malaysia in 2006.


   

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