Hishamuddin takes an open stance on Mindef land swaps issue

(Bernama) – Former defence minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein (pix) yesterdat said he had taken an open stand in the investigation of ‘Land Swap’ involving the land belonging to the Defence Ministry.

The Sembrong Member of Parliament also welcomed the Ministry’s move to report to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the disclosure of 16 ‘Land Swap’ projects which were approved by the Cabinet since 1995.

“I have also asked my representative to file a report to the MACC to take appropriate action in relation to all 16 land swap agreements without any discrimination. Any information we have will be sent directly to the MACC to assist in the investigation,“ he said in a statement yesterday.

Based on the Report on the Investigation Committee on Governance, Procurement and Finance (JKSTUPKK), investigations on the projects found elements of weaknesses and negligence in governance as well as the involvement of the former Prime Minister and former Defence Minister in 13 of the 16 ‘Land Swap’ projects.

According to JKSTUPKK who conducted an investigation from July to December 2018, the weaknesses included in planning and procurement that led to the original purpose of the project to improve military state preparedness was not fully achieved.

Hishammuddin also urged that all evidence and documents, together with JKSTUPKK full report, to be submitted to the MACC to enable them to fully investigate the 16 land swap agreements.

“This issue cannot be dragged into the media trials to be judged, the perception will close the reality, so leave it to the authorities to carefully examine for the truth to be revealed,“ he said.

Mindef in a statement on May 14 said it had made two reports to the MACC on ‘land swap’ and wanted further and detailed action to be taken in investigating the matter.