19th November 2020
PATRIOT WANTS ANSWERS TO MINDEF LAND SWAP CASE
Patriot welcomes the decision of parliament Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to conduct a probe into Mindef’s land swap deals, the Automated Enforcement System (AES) and the 1BestariNet. These are events tainted with corruption at high offices during the Barisan National’s administration, investigated during Pakatan Harapan without closure, which are among several other mega national scandals that brought equally mega repugnance among the masses.
Patriot had brought up the issue of Mindef land swap since April 2018, asking whether it was privatisation or piratisation, and since then followed up with four other statements on the issue in 2019. This came about after Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz’s open letter on April 8 2018.
We had then asked:
1. What had transpired during the ten years since then Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak made the proposal in 2008 to privatise the Mindef/Armed Forces land?
2. Was the more than 40,000 hectares of land privatised?
3. If so, to which company and who were the owners of the company?
During PH’s administration the special investigative committee on procurement, governance and finance headed by former auditor-general Tan Sri Ambrin Buang revealed losses exceeding RM 500 million over sixteen land swap projects involving 1,286 hectares. Nothing was told about the remaining two-third of the armed forces land. Why has Putrajaya not made public the investigation by the Ambrin Buang’s committee? What is there to hide?
Acknowledging and owning up to previous wrongs is not a weakness, rather, it shows strength and genuine intention of trying to solve problems. In fact, it is the first step to a clean start. Of course, the culprits of past corruptible practices, no matter how high their office, must be brought to face the law.
Until today, the probe into the two Scorpene submarines case has not come to closure. We were never told why the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT) was coerced into spending RM 555 million in the AES project. There is also the case of RM 1 billion of the littoral combat ships project unaccounted for. Investigations had proceeded for a few years now. What happened?
Patriot would like to remind all political leaders that they hold office in trust of the people. They must not betray that trust to commit any crime of corruption, whether the ill-gotten gains are for themselves, their cronies, or their parties. They must not be accomplice to any corruptible act. It is also their duty to report any such act committed by others. Keeping silent of such act is as bad as those who have committed it.
Patriot and the public eagerly await the outcome of the PAC’s investigation.
BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd)
Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan