More questions on the Mindef land swap deals

Mohamed Arshad Raji

Modified 20 Feb 2019, 11:03 am

LETTER | The land swap/privatisation project of the Ministry of Defence (Mindef), an explosive corruption issue involving military land that was highlighted in April 2018, just before the 14th general election, has come to light again.

The Special Investigative Committee headed by Ambrin Buang has discovered impropriety in the dealings and reports are being filed with the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). So far the information that has surfaced is skimpy.

Patriot, in our media statement on April 9, 2018, asked three questions:

(1) What had transpired during the last 10 years since Najib Razak, then defence minister and deputy prime minister, made the proposal in 2008 to privatise the Mindef/Armed Forces land?

(2) Were the more than 40,000 hectares of land privatised?

(3) If so, to which company and who were the owners of the company?

These questions were asked following former minister Rafidah Aziz’s shocking exposure in an open letter on April 8, 2018.

Following Rafidah’s shocking allegation and Patriot’s media statement, former defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein accused Rafidah of saying three lies, which prompted Rafidah to reaffirm her statement, with a Quranic verse, that every piece of military land had been privatised to a company owned by three persons.

Current Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu’s statement on Feb 19 stated that the investigation committee found 16 land swap projects involving 1,183 hectares.

There are still many questions still unanswered, such as:

(1) What happened to the balance of the 40,000 hectares originally mentioned?

(2) For the 16 cases of land swap discovered so far, was it direct dealing with the persons/companies involved or through a phantom company?

(3) Who were the politicians and culprits involved, and were members of the military top brass involved too?

Patriot urges the police and MACC to immediately swing into action. Bank accounts of suspected persons should be frozen and they should be barred from leaving the country. If members of the military brass were involved, even if they have retired, action should be taken against them.

Patriot would like to see a strong message sent to our current serving personnel and our youths that enough is enough of all the nonsense of corruption. We will have zero tolerance to corruption, especially those that take place in high office.

No corruption case must be allowed to taint the honourable services of those men and women in uniform, military and police, who have sacrificed and served the king and country with pride and honour.

Brig-Gen (Rtd) Mohamed Arshad Raji is president of Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (Patriot).

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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