MACC to haul in Hishammuddin in first high-profile probe under new chief

Former defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein.

PETALING JAYA: Former defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein is expected to have his first session with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in the next few days, as it summons several former government leaders in its first series of investigations since  the anti-graft agency’s recent change of leadership.

Persons familiar with the investigation told FMT that the commission would today issue letters to Hishammuddin and several others, including former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

It is still unknown if Hishammuddin will be remanded during the investigation.

It is understood that MACC officers had recently visited the Public Private Partnership Unit (UKAS) under the Prime Minister’s Department, Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) to gather documents on the land swap deal which was the subject of a corruption report by Mindef recently.

UKAS is a unit that spearheads collaboration between government agencies and the private sector.

Last month, Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu claimed that 13 of the 16 land swaps carried out during the previous administration involved Hishammuddin as well as former prime minister Najib Razak.

An internal investigation found that the government lost more than RM500 million due to the land swaps, which were allegedly rife with discrepancies such as land being sold at lower prices as well as to unqualified developers.

Mindef also lodged a report with MACC on two projects involving the construction of army camps in Paloh, Johor and Hutan Melintang, Perak.

MACC recently saw its chief commissioner Mohd Shukri Abdull replaced with lawyer Latheefa Koya, in a decision which drew mixed reactions from politicians and activists.

Latheefa earlier today met Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador for about an hour at the Bukit Aman police headquarters.