Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will begin probes into three previous controversial government projects which includes land swap deals amounting to RM4.8 billion.
- Mindef’s land swap deals
- LTAT’s takeover of AES project
- 1BestariNet project to provide 10,000 schools nationwide with 4G internet access
PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh said the bi-partisan committee will begin its inquiry this Nov 30 on the Defence Ministry’s land swap deals between 1995 and 2018 involving 16 plots of land totalling 1,183 hectares.
“Among the issues were the losses suffered by the government owing to inconsistencies in fixing land valuation returns and political consideration given priority over defence interest,” he told reporters at a press conference at Parliament’s media centre on Wednesday (Nov 18).
He said the ministry’s secretary-general will be summoned to testify before the committee before deciding if other witnesses are to be called.
Wong said the PAC will also be looking at whether it was appropriate for Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentara (LTAT) to take over the Automated Enforcement System (AES) project at a cost of RM555 million.
He said the project was initially outsourced by the Transport Ministry between 2012 and 2015 to private firms ATES Sdn Bhd and Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd, which had invested RM40 million into it.
He added that the PAC will also be probing the RM2.71 billion 1BestariNet project to provide 10,000 schools nationwide between 2011 and 2019 with 4G internet access for a virtual learning environment.
He said there had been weaknesses and negligence in administration of the project, resulting in its failure.
Wong said three projects were referred to the PAC by the Government Management, Procurement and Finance Investigation Committee headed by former Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang.
“There is merit in the three issues for them to be brought before the PAC,” he added.
On a separate issue, Wong said Parliamentary Select Committee will have to decide on a replacement for Gerik MP Datuk Hasbullah Osman who died of a heart ailment on Monday (Nov 16). – The Star