Former Malaysia defence minister Hishamuddin questioned over land swop deals

Former defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein said that he was not sure what he will be questioned about and how long the interrogation would take.
Former defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein said that he was not sure what he will be questioned about and how long the interrogation would take.PHOTO: HISHAMMUDDIN HUSSEIN / FACEBOOK

PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Former defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein showed up at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters for questioning on land swop deals involving his former ministry.

The Sembrong Member of Parliament arrived at the MACC office at 11am on Sunday (June 23) in a black MPV.

"I will give full cooperation, without fear or favour. I have nothing to hide, so let's get to the bottom of this," said Datuk Seri Hishammuddin, who stopped his car before entering the building to greet reporters who had been waiting for his arrival.

He added that he was not sure what he will be questioned about and how long the interrogation would take.

On May 17, the Defence Ministry handed over 14 reports on the alleged dubious land swop, after surrendering two reports earlier.

The reports were the findings of the Governance, Procurement and Finance Investigating Committee that had investigated 16 deals involving 1,183ha of land belonging to the Defence Ministry.

The land swop contracts, which went back several decades, were about ministry land in good locations near big cities that was handed to private companies, in exchange for the construction of military camps in remote areas.

 
 
 

Besides the land value, the cost of the projects was estimated at RM4.88 billion (S$1.6 billion).

Findings on one of the audit reports stated that a former prime minister and former defence ministers were found to have been clearly involved in the land swop deal for the development of the Muara Tuang and Penrissen camps in Sarawak.

Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said last month that 13 of the 16 land swops were carried out when Barisan Nasional politicians Hishammuddin and former premier Najib Razak were defence ministers.