Land swap deals involved ex-PM, defence minister: Mat Sabu

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 9): Thirteen of the 16 land swap deals carried out during Barisan Nasional’s (BN) rule of Putrajaya involved his “predecessor, as well as the previous prime minister”, Defence Minister Mohamad (Mat) Sabu revealed today.

He said in Dewan Negara that numerous “discrepancies” were found, such as the sale of land at lower prices and land swap projects given to unqualified developers, reported Free Malaysia Today (FMT).

“Political interests were above the government’s interests.

“No due diligence and weak planning and negotiation on some projects,” Mat Sabu was reported saying.

He also said that the government lost more than RM500 million owing to such land swaps.

“The views of government agencies to maximise the impact were not taken,” he added.

Mat Sabu also told the media that “several government servants had been called by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission for questioning on the land deals”, reported FMT.

“But the previous minister has not been called yet. That will depend on the investigation team,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defence has also said in a statement today that: “Outrageous interference for political interests contributed to the weaknesses in the management of the land swap projects in the ministry.”

“No careful planning by the Defence Ministry in the implementation of the projects caused the objective the projects not to be fully realised,” it added.

Up to 2,933 acres of land is involved in the 16 land swap deals. The land at various camps in Bukit Kinrara, Hutan Melintang, Bera, Segamat, Paloh and Kem Hutan Melintang are reported to be worth RM4.8 billion while the cost of the projects were tagged at RM4.9 billion. —

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