Defence official files 14 more reports to MACC over land swap deals under BN

Special officer to the defence minister Mohd Nasaie Ismail speaks to reporters outside the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya May 16, 2019. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Special officer to the defence minister Mohd Nasaie Ismail speaks to reporters outside the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya May 16, 2019. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PUTRAJAYA, May 16 ― The number of suspect graft cases involving military land exchanges during the Barisan Nasional administration now with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has ballooned from two to 16 overnight.

Mohd Nasaie Ismail, special officer to Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu, filed 14 more reports at the MACC headquarters here this morning, calling for an investigation into the controversial land swap deals.

“There are 16 land deals altogether. We lodged two reports initially and today we lodged the remaining 14 reports,” he told reporters waiting outside.

Mohd Nasaie said he made the reports only today after going through the extensive Auditor-General’s Reports on the matter.

 “There is more political importance than that for the government in 13 of the 16 projects which were developed.

“Checks with the MACC confirmed that there are investigations by the Governance, Procurement and Finance Investigating Committee (JKSTUPKK), that several camps, namely the Bera Camp, Segamat Camp, Paloh Camp and Hutan Melintang Camp were built for political reasons, which is to transfer voters before the 14th general election, to win certain parliamentary and state assembly seats,” he added.

Mohd Nasaie said he is worried the government did not just lose millions because of the projects but that they may also have compromised the country’s defence capabilities.

In February, Mohd Nasaie reported the land swap deal to the MACC alleging political interference in the deal involving the development of two military camps in Johor and Perak, when Barisan Nasional was the government.

The camps are located in Sembrong, the federal seat of then defence minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, and Bagan Datok, the federal constituency of then deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Nasaie claimed that camps were used to shore up electoral support for both Umno leaders.

Also in February, Defence Minister Mohamad said internal investigations into the 16 land swaps valued at an estimated RM4.9 billion found that at least RM500 million was indirectly lost through their valuations.

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

Shortly after, the ministry responded with a denial and said various measures were used for its development projects including privatisation through land-swapping deals.