Defence Ministry lodges report with MACC over land swap deals

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PUTRAJAYA (Feb 21): The Defence Ministry today lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over the land swap deals involving the construction of the Paloh army camp in Johor and Hutan Melintang army camp in Perak.

The report was made by special functions officer to the Defence Minister Mohd Nasaie Ismail at the MACC headquarters here following the investigations conducted by the Special Investigation Committee on Procurement, Governance and Finance chaired by Tan Sri Ambrin Buang on 16 land swap projects on the Ministry’s land.

Mohd Nasaie said the two projects, carried out by the private sector, were swapped with Kinrara camp land in Selangor and Rasah camp land in Negeri Sembilan.

"It is believed that there were political interference, negligence and mistakes in the implementation of both projects that caused losses to the Government and threatened the defence system," he told reporters here.

He said the construction of the Paloh and Hutan Melintang camps were not included in the 11th Malaysia Plan.

Initially, Mohd Nasaie said the Ministry planned to build a camp for the First Brigade in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan as a replacement for the Kinrara camp, however, it was cancelled and replaced with the Paloh camp which is located in the Sembrong Parliamentary constituency in Johor.

He claimed that there was evidence of political interference and the direct involvement of the Election Commission (EC) to transfer and increase votes of army personnel and their families in both camps involving the Sembrong and Bagan Datuk Parliamentary constituencies.

He also said that there were also doubts in the prices of the Kinrara camp land which was valued at RM500 million by the previous Government but was priced at RM758 million by the Valuation and Property Services Department.

Mohd Nasaie claimed that there was instruction for the 62-acre plot of land in Paloh to be purchased at RM10.47 million, which was 43 per cent higher than its market value.

Instructions were given for construction of the projects to start even before the deals were finalised and signed by both parties, he claimed.

Mohd Nasaie claimed that these projects had put the safety and interest of the army personnel at stake and efforts to strengthen the military was also disregarded.

He said the military needed the Port Dickson camp because the existing Rasah camp was in a dilapidated condition.

He also claimed that army personnel were abruptly transferred to the Hutan Melintang camp even before the camp obtained the certificate of completion and compliance.