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Parliament’s PAC to commence proceedings on land swap, AES and 1BestariNet, says chairman

A land swap is a method practised by the Ministry to procure facility development through the exchange of land with the private sector




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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov. 18 — The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will commence proceedings on three new issues raised by the Governance, Procurement and Committee (JKSTUPKK).

The three new issues, according to PAC chairman Kah Woh, are land swaps made under the Ministry from 1995 to 2018; the Automated Enforcement System (AES) under the Ministry; and the 1BestariNet project from 2011 to 2019 under the Ministry.

“PAC heard JKSTUPKK president and former auditor-general Tan Sri Ambrin Buang’s briefing on Monday (November 16) regarding the three issues.

“PAC views that there is merit to all three issues brought by JKSTUPKK,” he told a press conference at the Parliament building here today.

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According to Wong, JKSTUPKK has conducted investigations on 16 land swaps involving 2,923 acres of land worth RM4.8 billion.

“PAC has been informed that issues pertaining to the land swap implementation are related to government as a result of inconsistency in methods used to determine the value of the land and political considerations outweighing defence matters,” said Wong.

A land swap, as explained by Wong, is a method practised by the Defence Ministry to procure facility development through the exchange of government land with the private sector.

This is done to address insufficient allocation for upgrading work on defence facilities.

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As for the AES, JKSTUPKK investigated the rationale behind Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera’s (LTAT) decision to invest RM555 million in the acquisition of the AES company although the original cost of the company was RM40 million.

Wong added that JKSTUPKK found weaknesses and negligence in the implementation of 1BestariNet which saw its objectives unmet.

The project which started in 2011 and lasted to 2019 cost RM2.71 billion.

“PAC will begin proceedings on the Defence Ministry by calling the first witness, Defence Ministry Secretary-General (Datuk Seri Muez Abd Aziz), is a government officer, to give his statement and explanation on the issue on November 30.

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“After that, PAC will decide which other witnesses to call who are involved in this issue,” said Wong.

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