By Zurairi AR
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 ― Plans to purchase land in Bukit Raja that is at the centre of power abuse allegations against the federal government by businessman Deepak Jaikishan, will severely curtail the Defence Ministry’s current construction projects, whistleblower Rafizi Ramli alleged today.
His remarks come amid the move by Boustead Holdings Bhd, a unit of government investment fund Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT), to buy an 80 per cent stake in Astacanggih Sdn Bhd for RM30 million as well as a RM130 million piece of land from Awan Megah.
“If Bakti Wira (the Boustead subsidiary) takes a loan of RM160 million to pay them, this new burden will weaken its financial standing,” Rafizi told a press conference here.
The Defence Ministry’s LTAT, through its investment arm Bousted, had last Thursday announced plans to acquire the 200-acre land from Selangor Wanita Umno chief Senator Datuk Raja Ropiaah Abdullah’s firm Awan Megah Sdn Bhd for RM130 million.
On top of the land purchase, the fund will also buy Deepak’s firm Astacanggih Sdn Bhd for RM30 million, which Rafizi previously described recently as “outright bribery” and a move meant to silence the businessman from spewing more controversial revelations against the government.
According to Rafizi, Bakti Wira also owns Jendela Hikmat Sdn Bhd, which is the construction arm for LTAT, and its mounting debt will severely affect the subsidiary.
Jendela Hikmat, in turn, is a company that has been awarded a number of privatisation deals by the Defence Ministry, including a RM230 million project to build the Muara Tuang Camp in Sarawak.
“You’d come across its name quite regularly because it has become a sort of controversy for the last two years, because of its failure to complete the camp,” Rafizi said of Jendela Hikmat.
The Auditor-General’s report in 2010 had criticised the firm for failing to complete the project even after three deadline extensions.
Rafizi claimed that by taking the RM160 million loan, the firm that already made a loss of RM565,923 last year stands to lose at least RM6.5 million more annually from the loan’s interest.
This afternoon, Rafizi will lead a group of army pensioners to inspect Bakti Wira’s documentations of the deal which will be available for public viewing at its office starting today.
MORE TO COME