Mindef lodges report to MACC over ‘dubious’ takeover of AES

LTAT paid RM555 million to take over AES when the original cost was RM40 million, says special officer to the defence minister.

PETALING JAYA: The defence ministry (Mindef) today lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over the takeover of the Automated Enforcement System (AES) valued at RM555 million.

The statement said the takeover of AES was under the directive of an employee in the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT), with intervention from the former prime minister and a few former Cabinet ministers to serve their political interests.

After the Pakatan Harapan took over the government in May 2018, they set up an investigation committee to look into dubious documents and purchasing of assets by the Barisan Nasional government.

The defence ministry was the first to be audited by the investigation committee, headed by Auditor-General Ambrin Buang.

Mindef said they had handed over the findings of this investigation committee to MACC.

“Suspicion arose as to why LTAT paid RM555 million to take over AES when the original cost was RM40 million,” said Rafizal Ali, special officer to the defence minister.

Rafizal also said Ambrin’s committee implied that the implementation of the AES benefitted the concessionaires while putting the government at a risk of loss.

“The decision by LTAT to take over the AES project, made in a discussion unrecorded in minutes between the former prime minister and a few ministers in September 2014, has raised doubts,” he said.

Rafizal then called on MACC to launch an investigation to identify the real reason behind LTAT’s takeover of AES at an inflated price.