Mindef lodges reports with MACC

PETALING JAYA: The Defence Ministry (Mindef) has lodged two reports with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), requesting investigations into alleged discrepancies in military land swap deals.

Mindef had started releasing in stages full reports on 16 projects involving land swap deals, and called on the MACC to carry out further investigation and take appropriate action.

Based on the Governance, Procurement and Finance Investigating Committee (GPFIC) report that suggested possible negligence and abuse of power, the ministry concluded that it had lost more than RM500mil, it said in a statement yesterday.

It attributed the loss to under-valued land price, administrative flaws, negligence and “outrageous” political interference, among others.

Last Thursday, Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu tabled the GPFIC report on the 16 controversial projects in the Dewan Negara.

He announced that the full reports would be released to the public in stages via the ministry’s official website.

Mindef said it viewed seriously the committee’s findings, censure and recommendations, and was looking into taking stern action to serve as a deterrent.

Full reports on the Kem Hutan Melintang, Kem Batu Kentonmen, Kem Paloh/Kinrara land swap deals were released on Monday while reports on Kem Sungai Buloh, Kem Sungai Besi and Kem Batu Pahat deals were released yesterday.

Reports on other projects, including Kem Transit Kem Wataniah 502 AW, Kem Terendak, Kem Sg Putat Melaka and Kem Brinchang, would be released over the next few days.

The investigating committee headed by former auditor-general Tan Sri Ambrin

Buang had advised the authorities to review the Sungai Buloh land swap deal, as the proposed overall development of the 11th Brigade headquarters and armament depot were not part of the ministry’s existing strategic plan.

“As the deal is yet to be inked, it is best to review the project in accordance with the ministry’s current needs,” it said.

It also recommended the setting up of a consortium with another developer for added value.

The committee also called on Mindef to revalue the Sungai Besi land swap deal, as the land price should not be below the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH)’s valuation, and that another 20% should be added to the price, taking into consideration land usage, holding and future development.

The Kem Batu Pahat project was completed according to specification in 2014, the report noted.

It revealed discrepancies in the proposed development of the Standard Infantry Battalion and the Royal Artillery Regiment in Hutan Melintang, Perak.

“There are elements of weakness and negligence in terms of administration, planning and procurement. Political involvement and collaboration with other agencies, including the Election Commission, reflect elements of abuse of power by those with vested interest,” the report concluded.

It also revealed weaknesses in terms of planning and procurement in the outright sales purchase of the proposed army logistics camp in Semenyih through the Kem Batu Kentonmen land swap deal.

The report suggested privatisation of the land swap deal to secure smooth relocation of the camp.

It also exposed abuse of power by a ministry officer and elements of political interference in appointing the contractor in the Puchong-based Kem Kinrara land swap deal that compromised the interest of the government.

The Kinrara deal involved the proposed construction of Kem Paloh in Johor, proposed logistics management training centre in Negri Sembilan and a proposed RMAF camp in Kuala Lumpur.

Noting that the land in Kinrara was under-valued, the committee called on the ministry to review the project based on its existing strategic plan and National Defence Policy.

It called for stern action against officers who had neglected their duties, causing losses to the government.

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