19 March 2019
Mindef land swap deals done in contravention of financial regulations, says PM
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
10 March 2019
BOMBSHELL – HISHAM FACES RM500 MILLION CORRUPTION PROBE: HIS AIDES IDENTIFIED BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE INVESTIGATING MINDEF LAND SWAPS, MACC REPORT LODGED https://t.co/CANSmEs0eQ
FORMER defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein’s aides were involved in the armed forces land swap deals which caused losses amounting to RM500 million to the ministry, said Liew Chin Tong.
The deputy defence minister said this was discovered by the Special Investigations Committee (SIC) chaired by former auditor-general Ambrin Buang.
“The report names the officers who were attached to Hishammuddin at the time as being linked with the deals.
“The (then) minister’s personal officers were implicated (in the deals). The report has been sent to MACC,” he told The Malaysian Insight in a recent interview.
He was referring to the findings of a special committee whih had reported that losses were incurred by the Defence Ministry in 16 land swap projects since 1997. These included the building of four military camps for political purposes, including one in Paloh which falls under the Sembrong constituency held by Hishammuddin.
The committee was set up by the Pakatan Harapan administration to look into the procurement and administrative procedures of the previous government.
Following the findings of the comamittee (sic), Hishammuddin had said he had nothing to hide.
Liew, meanwhile, said the land swap deals were done solely for Barisan Nasional’s political interest and not for strategic military purposes.
“The two clear cases are the Paloh camp, which is in Hishamudddin’s constituency in Johor and the Hutan Melintang camp in Bagan Datuk, which is Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s constituency.”
He said two other camps were built in Segamat, Johor and Bera in Pahang. The then MP for Segamat was former MIC president and health minister Dr S. Subramaniam while Umno leader Ismail Sabri Yaakob is the MP for Bera.
“These four camps were constructed purely on the basis for political purposes. They were built in marginal seats in order to strengthen the position of BN in those areas.
“Paloh was the only camp for which they could not shift in the voters in time,” Liew said.
He said that the move (to relocate the bases) was bad for the nation because the previous government had viewed the camps as vote banks and built military facilities not for strategic defensive purposes.
“This shall never be repeated and we should do everything to prevent it.
“Those camps were not part of any military strategy. It was to strengthen the marginal seats. There was political interference to benefit selected political masters.”
Liew said that another issue to look at was the acts of developers in wanting the ministry’s land bank for commercial purposes.
“They (developers) wanted urban land in certain places and in order to get them, the armed forces had to be moved.
“The developers are the ones who proposed the land swaps. It was not because the military wanted to move.
“It’s because the land was in the middle of the city and was deemed a valuable land bank.”
He said as a result, the armed forces were forced to relocate to places close to the jungle.
“This was one of Ambrin’s main criticisms on the land swaps that happened over the years.”
He gave examples of how the old palace (now the Royal Museum along Jalan Istana) and the official residences of armed forces chief and the defence minister had been relocated as a result of land swaps.
He said the places were originally built to be close to the Sg Besi camp.
“When they planned it years ago, there was consideration that if there is an emergency, the Sg Besi air base can serve as an urban evacuation point.
“But today, because of 1Malaysia Development Bhd taking over the land, the military has been pushed to Sedayan in Seremban.”
the malaysian insight
Hishammuddin’s aides implicated in land swap deals, says Chin Tong https://t.co/mYlBbnOCyh
KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 23): Kelana Ventures Sdn Bhd (KVSB), a company owned by tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, has confirmed a report by The Edge Financial Daily that it was the private party in a controversial land swap deal with the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) involving the Royal Malaysian Air Force land in Kinrara, Puchong.
However, it clarified that the land had been valued by the company at RM500 million, based on its existing condition — without taking into account the future conversion premium that need to be paid (for commercial and residential status), and other restrictions and conditions that may be imposed by the Selangor state government for future development.
In a letter to the daily, it said in return for the land, the company entered into an arrangement with MINDEF to build three new facilities for the ministry at RM499.9 million in total.
The new facilities are: a new army camp at Kem Paloh, Kluang, Johor, at a cost of RM280.7 million, a new logistics management training centre (pusat latihan pengurusan logistik) at Sendayan, Negeri Sembilan at RM137.3 million, and a new air force base (Markas Tentera Udara 2) at Kementah, Kuala Lumpur, at RM81.9 million.
KVSB also clarified that the land-swap deal and the agreement to build the facilities have yet to be signed between KVSB and MINDEF, but that the company had — at the request of MINDEF — agreed to start construction works for Kem Paloh.
As KVSB is of the view that the daily’s article “does not reflect the true nature of the arrangement between KVSB and the Ministry of Defence”, it said the report is “erroneous and misleading”.
In the article published on Friday, the daily reported, quoting sources, that KVSB was involved in a politically-motivated land swap deal with MINDEF, under which the ministry had lost RM258 million by selling the Kinrara plot in Puchong at a 34% discount to the company.
It also reported that Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu’s special functions officer, Mohd Nasasie Ismail, had told reporters on Thursday that the land, measuring 101.81 acre (41.2ha), had been swapped for RM500 million although it had been valued at RM758 million by the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH) in May 2015.
In return, Nasasie said the private firm — which he did not name — would build three new facilities for the ministry: a new military base in Paloh, the new air force base, and a new logistics training centre.
Nasasie said the ministry had also overvalued the land in Paloh, which it acquired via a land swap at a 43% premium. The 62-acre (25ha) plot had been acquired by MINDEF at RM10.47 million, although JPPH valued the land at only RM7.28 million. The valuation was also done in 2015.
Nasasie was speaking to reporters at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Agency (MACC) headquarters, where he went to submit the findings on the two land swaps based on the final report on the matter from the special committee investigating governance, procurement and finance headed by former auditor-general Tan Sri Ambrin Buang.
On Wednesday, MINDEF revealed that government funds in excess of RM500 million is believed to have been leaked via 16 of the ministry’s land swap deals.