Report Finds Mindef Land Swaps Also Occurred During Mahathir S Time
The summary report on Defence Ministry land swaps shows “political considerations outweighing government interests”, even during Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s first term as prime minister.
When tabling the Governance, Procurement and Finance Investigating Committee report in the Dewan Negara on Thursday – the anniversary of Pakatan Harapan’s first year in power – Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu pointed out that political interests prevailed in 13 of 16 land swap deals that took place since 1997.
Although not naming names, Mohamad said that past prime ministers and defence ministers were involved in these deals.
In a press conference later that day, Mohamad denied the involvement of Mahathir in these cases.
A look into the 59-page summary report uploaded onto the Defence Ministry’s website, however, found that four of the 13 land swap deals took place during Mahathir’s first term.
The four land swap deals are:
The reconstruction of a transit camp and the Regiment 502 Territorial Army camp in Kuala Lumpur, in exchange for 4ha of land in Jalan Ampang costing RM66 million. This was approved in principle by the cabinet in October 1995 via open tender. Syed Hamid Albar was the defence minister during this time. It was only completed in September 2008.
The construction of Skudai Brigade 7 Headquarters in Pulai, in exchange for 154.6ha of land in Plentong, Tebrau, costing RM256 million. This was approved in principle by the cabinet in February 1997, but was a failed project. Syed Hamid was the defence minister during this time.
The construction of Division 1 and Camp 4 RRD, in Muara Tuang, Kota Samarahan, as well as the construction of Akademi Tentera Malaysia (Atma), in exchange for 284.9ha of land in Kapar and Kuching via direct negotiation. This was approved in principle by the cabinet in May 1996. Syed Hamid was the defence minister during this time. The deal was only inked a decade later, under the Abdullah Ahmad Badawi administration. It was completed in August 2011.
The construction of a sports facility in Sungai Besi Camp and upgrading of six armed forces family housing (RKAT) for the Royal Malay Regiment (RAMD) battalion in Kedah, and four RAMD battalions in Tapah, in exchange for 1.6ha of military headquarters land in Jalan Kuching. This was approved in principle by the cabinet in February 1997. Syed Hamid was the defence minister during this time. Until today, the deal has not been signed.
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