The Defence Ministry today conceded that the National Defence Education Centre (Puspahanas) project planned in Precinct 1, Putrajaya will only be completed in mid-2015, and blamed a land swap problem as the reason for the delay.
Awan Megah Sdn Bhd, owned by Selangor Wanita Umno leader Senator Raja Datuk Ropiaah Abdullah, was awarded the contract for the project in 2005 in exchange for some 80 hectares of land in Bukit Raja, Selangor and RM27 million.
“Right now, Puspahanas in Putrajaya is in the construction phase. We’ve been monitoring it because it is a privatisation deal,” Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told reporters here.
“Progress reports have been delivered to me, and we have targeted its completion date. We target a completion date of mid-2015, at the very latest.”
The project was started on November 21, 2008 with a groundbreaking ceremony by the then prime minister and defence minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and it was initially scheduled to complete at 2011.
“(The original deadline) couldn’t be satisfied because there was a problem. We understand very much that it’s not their fault,” he said, referring to developer Awan Megah.
Zahid blamed a land swap deal that had gone wrong, but did not elaborate on it.
The Malaysian Insider visited the Puspahanas site yesterday, and saw that the project remains uncompleted beyond some skeletal buildings out of the original 12 planned, hidden by a bank of white zinc wall panels.
Fewer than 10 construction workers clad in yellow hard hats could be seen working on various areas of the project which is going ahead, but very slowly.
Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latif Ahmad declined earlier to comment on the project last week, saying he did not have any information about the project that was first mooted in 1971.
The project was initially planned for Templer Park, Rawang, and from 1972 to 1985, the government had proceeded with land acquisition for the original site. In 1980, the Armed Forces Conference approved the project. In 1993, the Armed Forces Defence College Board decided to privatise it. In 1996, the Defence Ministry applied to the Economic Planning Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department for the privatisation.
In 1997, the Cabinet approved on principle the privatisation of the Puspahanas project to Awan Megah in return for 223 acres of government land in Bukit Raja to be transferred to the company for commercial development.
In August 1997, then Armed Forces Chief General Tan Sri Ismail Omar said the Puspahanas construction work would begin at the end of 1997 and was expected to be completed in 2002. Awan Megah was finally awarded the deal in 2005, and the project was relocated to Precinct 1 in Putrajaya.
At the groundbreaking ceremony in 2008, Badawi had said it would also serve as a catalyst for defence relations and co-operation among countries in the region and would be in line with the government’s commitment to preserve regional and international peace.
“Realising this need, Puspahanas was conceived with the aim of providing ultra-modern and quality training facilities for ATM (Armed Forces) officers in military matters and national defence,” he said at the groundbreaking ceremony of the project, as reported by state news agency
umNoputras and Ali Babas, what is the point of of ETP,GTP ,ABC when a simple project involving the military and security of the country pun need 40 years to complete. Want to be a developed country ?...the only dream
you can see in the picture, that the walls have already turned green... who knows how long it has been in the same state.
Project started on November 21, 2008 and scheduled to complete in 2011. Already delayed 14 months. Now reschedule to be completed by 2015. May I ask how much MORE will be the cost overrun?
Is this what BN always proudly say "Janji ditepati" ??...you dick head....zahid....!!!!
This exercise is merely to get someone off the hook and it is not surprising that some buildings in this shoddy mega project will collapse !!! Malaysia is Nahas, with rampant and glaring corruptions and deceptions !!
Ridiculous! Puspahanas remains uncompleted but the land have been sold!
The land in the first place belong to government and given to UMNO crony in exchange for Puspahanas (cost RM100 million) and now bought it back at even higher price! Ridiculous! ? Sound like a big scam!
Yet ANOTHER PIECE of BIG SKELETON fell out of the closet!! There are MANY MORE of these DIRTY UMNO SKELETONS that had been BURIED in the last 5 decades in power. Can the Rakyat FIGURE OUT HOW MANY RM Billions this HOPELESS government HAD SQUANDERED???? Cover Up, Cover Up and MORE COVER UP............RESIGN Zahid! RESIGN Najib! The Rakyat DEMAND that you DISSOLVE PARLIMENT!