The National Patriot Association (Patriot) has urged the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to take immediate action on the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) land swap/privatisation project.
Patriot president Brig-Gen (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji said the bank accounts of suspects in the matter should be frozen and they should be barred from leaving the country.
“If military brasses were involved, even if they have retired, actions should be taken against them,” he said in a statement today.
Arshad said this would send a strong message to serving personnel and youths to take a stand against corruption.
“No corruption case must be allowed to taint the honourable service of those men and women in uniform, military and police, who have sacrificed and served the king and country with pride and honour,” he said.
In April 2018, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz wrote an open letter alleging that former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak had recommended the privatisation of over 40,000ha of Armed Forces land to a company in 2018. Najib was the defence minister then.
Current Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu initiated a probe into the alleged land sale and announced yesterday that Mindef is set to lodge reports with the police and the MACC.
He said the committee’s findings tabled on Jan 28 revealed that there were 16 land swap projects involving 1286ha (2,923 acres) of Mindef’s land worth RM4.756 billion and involving development costs of RM4.886 billion.
“The investigation committee also found that the estimated loss or leakage of government funds during the implementation of the land swap projects was over RM500 million. The ministry was informed that a majority of the land swap projects were not carefully planned and complete due diligence over the selection of the developing firm was not implemented,” the minister said.
He added that there was also political interference in the selection of locations proposed for the land swap deals.
Arshad said the MACC and police must get answers to the questions that remain unanswered.
“There are many questions still unanswered, such as: What happened to the balance of the 40,000 (hectares of land)?
“For the 16 cases of land swap discovered so far, (were they made through) direct dealing with the persons/companies involved or through a phantom company? Who were the politicians and culprits involved, and were military top brass involved too?”
He said those involved need to be named, whether they be politicians or former top military officers.
Related report: Feb 19, Mat Sabu: Defence Ministry Lost RM500M in Land Swap Deals