Mat Sabu: No need to involve police in Mindef land swap controversy just yet

Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu (centre) arrives for the inaugural Perwira dialogue by the Ministry of Defence in Kuala Lumpur January 22, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu (centre) arrives for the inaugural Perwira dialogue by the Ministry of Defence in Kuala Lumpur January 22, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — There is no necessity to lodge a police report at this juncture on the leakage in the government revenue which is estimated to exceed RM500 million during the implementation of the ministry’s land swap projects, said Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu.

He said the case was handed over fully to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to conduct further investigations.

“Yes, my ministry has lodged a report on the case last week and it is up to MACC to handle and investigate the case.

“As such, the case has no connection with the police thus far and let MACC investigate first,” he said when asked to comment on the development in the investigation on the case.

He said this at a media conference after handing over the 2019 Defence Ministry’s ‘Anugerah Perkhidmatan Cemerlang’ (APC) and ‘Pingat Perkhidmatan dan Pekerti Terbilang’ (PPT) at the Malaysian Armed Forces’ Wisma Perwira here today.

On Thursday, a report was made with MACC on the land swap issue concerning the ministry-owned land involving the Paloh Camp and Hutan Melintang Camp construction projects in Johor and Perak, respectively.

The report was made by Special Functions Officer to the Defence Minister, Mohd Nasaie Ismail at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya, following the result of an investigation by the Governance, Finance and Procurement Investigation Committee headed by Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, on 16 land swap issues involving land belonging to the Defence Ministry.

Mohd Nasaie, who lodged the report, said both the projects were carried out by the private sector as a result of a land swap involving the KInrara Camp site in Selangor and Rasah Camp in Negri Sembilan.

On Feb 19, Mohamad, in a statement, said the ministry had received the final report from the committee headed by Tan Sri Ambrin concerning several ministry’s projects including the land swaps.

The report of the investigation too had been tabled and accepted by the Cabinet on Feb 13.

He said the results of the committee’s investigation which had been tabled on Jan 28 found 16 land swap projects involving 1,286 ha land belonging to the Defence Ministry worth RM4.756 and involving a project cost of RM4.886 billion. — Bernama

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