Land deal: Defence Ministry’s ‘explanation’ raises more questions

Land deal: Defence Ministry’s ‘explanation’ raises more questions

The Defence Ministry’s revelation that it was involved in land swap deals with private companies raises more questions, the NGO of former military servicemen, Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (Patriot), said.

The movement’s leader, Brig-Gen (Rtd) Mohamed Arshad Raji, said caretaker Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak could bring clarity to the matter by answering four questions:

1. What is the name of the company appointed to execute the Ministry of Defence development projects and also the land swap privatisation projects?;

2. Who are the owners of that company?;

3. How do members of the Armed Forces, those uniformed men and women, and the Armed Forces benefit from such land swap privatisation projects?; and

4. Why are deals made in this land swap privatisation projects shrouded in secrecy?

Mohamed Arshad said Patriot was “disgusted” that yet another scandal, this time involving land swap deals, was shrouded in secrecy and demanded transparency.

Yesterday, the Defence Ministry dismissed allegations by former cabinet minister Rafidah Aziz (photo) that all Armed Forces land in the country was now in control by a company owned by three individuals.

Rafidah had claimed that Najib, as defence minister, had tabled a cabinet paper on this in 2007. According to Rafidah, she was the only minister to question the deal.

On Saturday, Rafidah had urged Najib to name the so-called company controlled by three individuals.

However, the Defence Ministry said any land deal involving the ministry undergoes a rigorous process of vetting and procedures are set by the Public Private Partnership Unit (Ukas).

“Every project involves different companies which do not have anything to do with one another.

“Every privatisation project which uses the land-swap deal method has to be discussed in detail by a ministerial committee and by a Ukas committee before it can be brought before the cabinet for approval in principle,” the ministry said.

“Once this approval in principle is given, the project proposal then has to be brought once again before the Ukas committee chaired by its director-general. It also has to be brought before the Public-Private Committee chaired by the chief secretary to the government.

“There are several stages which any proposal needs to go through before it can be brought before the cabinet once again for every detail to be examined.”

The Defence Ministry did not name any of the companies involved in these projects.

Land deal: Defence Ministry’s ‘explanation’ raises more questions
11 april 2018 – malaysiakini


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