Mindef land swap deals done in contravention of financial regulations, says PM

Dr Mahathir said the camps were built for election purposes, which to enable military personnel to be stationed and cast their votes in certain constituencies. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif
Dr Mahathir said the camps were built for election purposes, which to enable military personnel to be stationed and cast their votes in certain constituencies. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif

PUTRAJAYA, March 19 — The final report from the Governance, Procurement and Finance Investigating Committee on Ministry of Defence (Mindef) land swap deals reveals that the land swap method used by the previous government is in contravention of financial regulations.

In fact, in the report, the investigating committee also identified other land swap deals which contravened the government procurement procedures, with some of the deals being done with the purpose to increase the number of voters in military camps during elections.

The report was tabled at the Cabinet Select Committee on Anti-Corruption (JKKMAR) meeting chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, here today.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Dr Mahathir said the camps were built for election purposes, which to enable military personnel to be stationed and cast their votes in certain constituencies.

“This is an offence. We found that many land swap deals were done to build such camps. There are cases in which some camps were closed right after the elections,” he said.

According to the statement issued by the JKKMAR after the meeting, legal action would be taken against those involved in the issue.

Last month, Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu disclosed that the two military camps in Paloh, Johor, and in Hutan Melintang, Perak, were not part of the ministry’s need, but were built on the instructions of the previous Barisan Nasional government to have their voters transferred to the areas in order to achieve their political agenda.

Mindef had also submitted its internal investigation report on the land swap deals involving the two camps to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission after finding that it had incurred a great amount of losses to the government and had compromised the national strategic interests. — Bernama