Mat Sabu: Defence Ministry Lost RM500M in Land Swap Deals

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The Defence Ministry has incurred a startling loss of RM500 million from several land swap deals valued at RM4.75 billion, revealed its minister Mohamad Sabu.

In a statement, he said his ministry has received the report from the Governance, Procurement and Finance Investigating Committee headed by former Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang on the land swap deals, which was discussed in last Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting.

“The committee investigated 16 deals involving 2,932 acres of land belonging to the ministry. In addition to the land value, the cost of the projects is estimated to be RM4.88 billion,” Sabu said.

He said the ministry was informed that a majority of the land swap projects were implemented without detailed planning and the selection of the developer companies not done with due comprehensive diligence.

“There was also political interference from certain quarters when it came to the selection of the land swap locations. This has resulted in parts of the projects exceeding the contractual duration initially agreed upon.

Razak Ghazali

“Alongside this, some projects were completed, but the construction quality is unsatisfactory,” Sabu said.

Following this, he has instructed his officers to file reports with the police, the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission and relevant agencies, so the relevant investigations may be carried out.

In early April last year, former minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz publicly alleged that land belonging to the Armed Forces had been swapped by a company supposedly under the control of three key individuals.

Shortly thereafter the ministry responded with a statement, denying this was the case and saying various measures were used for the development projects, which include privatisation through land-swapping deals. – MMO