Defence Ministry to file reports with police, MACC over 'land swap' deals resulting in more than RM500m losses

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 19): The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) is set to file reports with the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over alleged leakage of Government funds believed to be in excess of RM500 million under the Ministry’s land swap deals involving development projects.

Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu in a statement said that he had received a final report on the matter from the special committee to investigate procurement and governance and finance chaired by Tan Sri Ambrin Buang.

The report had also been tabled and accepted at the Cabinet Meeting on Feb 13.

He said the committee's findings tabled on Jan 28 revealed that there were 16 land swap projects involving 1,286 hectares (2,923 acres) of Mindef’s land worth RM4.756 billion, and involving development costs of RM4.886 billion.

"The investigation committee also found that the estimated loss or leakage of Government funds during the implementation of the land swap projects was over RM500 million. The Ministry was informed that the majority of the land swap projects were not carefully planned and complete due diligence over the selection of the developing firm was not implemented," he said.

Mohamad added that there was also political interference in the selection of locations proposed for the land swap deals.

The situation had even led to some of the projects to be dragged beyond the contract period, with some projects having been completed with sub-par quality.

"I will instruct my officers to lodge reports with the police, MACC and other relevant agencies to conduct further investigation and take further action as provided by the law," he said.