Expose aimed at plugging loopholes, says Mat Sabu

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 23 May 2019

PETALING JAYA: The Defence Ministry’s move to expose weaknesses in the land swap deals that have caused the government RM500mil in losses is aimed at plugging the loopholes in the planning and procurement processes to avoid future leakages.

Minister Mohamad Sabu (pic) said the RM500mil loss was based on real loss, potential loss and contentious loss involving the 16 projects that were implemented via land swap deals with private companies.

“Real loss is based on the land price differences based on the value recommended by the Valuation and Property Services Depart­ment and the agreed price with the company.

“The potential loss involves the agreement on the value of the exchanged land for projects that are still at the negotiation stage.

“Contentious loss stems from weaknesses in the governance – as assessed by the special investigation committee (headed by former Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang),” he said in response to queries from The Star.

Critics had called on the ministry to justify its claim that the losses amounted to RM500mil.Mohamad also called on the public to stop speculating beyond the 16 reports that had been made public so far as the Governance, Procurement and Finance Investigating Committee’s probe into other suspicious deals were still ongoing.

The 16 complete reports prepared by the GPFIC were released in stages last week for public scrutiny, the week after Mohamad tabled them in Parliament on May 9.

“We have lodged two reports with the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commis­sion) on Feb 21, and another 16 reports on May 16 for further action. The ministry is ready to extend our fullest cooperation to assist MACC in the investigations,” he said.

Mohamad said it was understood that MACC was still in the process of carrying out detailed investigations into the two land swap deals reported by the ministry three months ago.

“We have handed over all the documents related to the two projects,” he said.

Asked if the ministry would propose a ban on land swap deals, Mohamad said it was up to the federal government to set new policies.

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