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Thread: Harapkan Pagar, Pagar Makan Padi - Sekarang, Pagar Makan Lembu! - NFC Cowgate

   
   
       
  1. #1
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    Harapkan Pagar, Pagar Makan Padi - Sekarang, Pagar Makan Lembu! - NFC Cowgate

    NFC illuminates Najib’s transformations

    16.11.2011

    By Barisan Nasional standard, the National Feedlot Center Project scandal is no big deal, as it involves no more than RM300 million of public fund, but the intensive debate over it has allowed us to gauge the country’s current state of governance, and more importantly, whether there has been a paradigm shift among BN leadership under the various transformation programs brought in by Prime Minister Najib Razak.

    The current scandal is typical of the BN misadventure with public funds. A large sum of public fund is given to an incompetent crony who squanders the money without bringing the project to fruition.

    And the response by BN leaders, from the prime minister down, has been nothing but a series of cover-ups and excuses. There has been no attempt to face the problem squarely and come up with effective remedial measures. The culture of transparency and accountability seems to be alien to these people, despite hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ money being dumped to trumpet Najib’s many ‘transformaions’ for the country.

    National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd (NFC) was given the task to “transform the Malaysian cattle and beef industry into a world-class halal beef producer”, according to Bernama, reporting on the signing ceremony of the RM250 million soft loan on 6 Dec 2007. Target production was 60,000 heads of cattle for Phase 1 from the feedlot in Gemas. Operation was scheduled to start in February 2008.

    NFC in a mess

    Four years on, the Auditor General in his 2010 report stated that the NFC project was in a mess. The total number of cows slaughtered was only 5,742 up to November last year. Even by the scaled-down target of 8,000 cows per year, the project is a flop.

    Compounding this unpalatable report is the discovery of money being misused, such as RM10 million to buy a luxurious condominium and over RM800,000 for oversea travelling and entertainment in 2009, despite the company running at a loss of RM7 million in 2008 and RM11 million in 2009. It looks like NFC will meet the same fate as so many other BN forerunners such as the PKFZ, Perwaja, etc. – besides losing hefty public funds, dream of transforming this or that is gone.

    And who owns NFC? The family of Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Minister of Women, Welfare and Community Development, and head of Wanita Umno. Her husband, Mohamad Salleh Ismail, is the chairman, and her three children are CEO and executive directors of the company. Expertise and experience in the business of cattle production and beef supply of the Shahrizat family is nil.

    There are more than 300 feedlot farms in this country, and many established businesses in the beef supply industry. With our people’s accumulation of expertise in this area, shouldn’t we have entrusted the important mission of boosting domestic beef production to entrepreneurs who are better qualified than the Shahrizat family?

    Added to the comedy is the scrambling to defend NFC and Shahrizat by personages no less than PM, DPM, Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister, Umno Youth leader, and now the latest, former PM Abdullah.

    Top guns to the defence

    PM said in Parliament on Nov 11 that there was no wrong-doing, and that production will soon increase to “12,000 cattle from 6,000 previously”.

    DPM, who started the project when he was then the minister involved, said in a press conference on Oct 29 that he saw nothing “unsual or anything wrong” with the project and passd the buck to current Minister Noh Omar to answer further questions.

    Agriculture Minister Noh denied any impropriety in the award of this project and called the project a “success”, giving various reasons for the meager production.

    Umno Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin, who holds no government post, has strangely emerged as the most vocal defender. However, his lengthy discourse seems to excel more in offensive language than in helpful facts.

    And even former premier Abdullah Badawi came to Shahrizat’s rescue. He said on Nov 15 that there is no need for her to resign as she is not the CEO and hence not involved. This was in answer to repeated calls for Shahrizat to resign.

    Strangely, no one seems to have called for the two minister concerned to be brought to book – the previous agriculture minister (now DPM) Muhyiddin Yassin for having dubiously awarded the project to an incompetent recipient and the current minister Noh Omar for failing to properly oversee the execution of the project.

    As for our corruption watchdog MACC, it had remained eerily silent since the scandal broke out almost 3 weeks ago until the scandal got overheated and it passed the buck to the police 2 days ago, saying that this is a police case, not a MACC case.

    Will police do anything? Your guess is as good as mine.

    There you are, Najib’s transformations for you.

    Kim Quek.
    py

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    Harapkan Pagar, Pagar Makan Padi: NFC & Shahrizat

    Friday, 02 December 2011 12:01

    "Who knows him from Adam?" : Knives start to come out for Shahrizat and hubby

    Written by Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle


    The truth is starting to come out. Despite a humungous cover-up by the Umno top echelon involving the police and a performance worthy of an Oscar, party delegates, especially from the Wanita wing, want their chief Shahrizat Jalil to be gone. If not from the party completely, then at the very least to quit all posts including her Cabinet position.

    “Who knows him from Adam?” a delegate was reported as having told the Malaysian Insider in reference to Shahrizat's husband, Salleh Ismail, who was granted the RM250 million NFC cattle-breeding project.

    “Come on, they understand. It is your husband, so what do you mean it has nothing to do with you? If you were not a minister do you think your husband would have gotten the project?"

    Even Rafidah, who was much more powerful, had to give in

    Shahrizat had at the Wanita congress received what appeared to rapturous support from the women delegates. Certainly, she took care to surround herself with die-hard loyalists who were clearly robotic in their defence of the chief.

    But the fact remains, Shahrizat is just a step from being forced to step down. The corruption allegations over how Salleh and her childer had mismanaged the NFC project, squandering public funds on 2 super-luxury condos in Bangsar, a high-end Mercedes Benz CLS350, residential land in the poshest part of Putrajaya have shocked the nation.

    The money was meant to incubate and grow the project, which aims to ensure Malaysians get access to cheap beef. NFC was granted to her family in 2006 by the then-premier Abdullah Badawi, who had a soft spot for her and supported her challenge of past Wanita chief Rafidah Aziz.

    Notorious for her stranglehold on the APs business, or authorised permits for importing motor vehicles, Rafidah too finally faced the curtain after the graft allegation swamped all her other achievements as Trade minister and long-time Kuala Kangsar MP.

    It was an ignominious exit for Rafidah who had to leave with jeers of Queen APs ringing in her ears. But if it is any consolation to her now, her deputy-turned-challenger Shahrizat too will have to face the same music, only that Shahrizat's song would be titled Queen Cow and Condos.

    Disgust and pure ambition

    Critics say if Shahrizat is still unbelieving of her fate, she should look at Rafidah, who was even more powerful owing to her much longer service in Umno. Yet, Rafidah could not hold back the tide and clamoring from the Wanita members.

    "It is not just a matter of wanting reform. Many are just disgusted. They thought with Rafidah gone, there won't so much controversy but it appears Shahrizat was a good student. If Wanita could dislodge Rafidah, who fought like a lioness, Shahrizat who is much more 'lembik' (soft) like Badawi will be easy game," PKR vice president Chua Jui Meng told Malaysia Chronicle.

    "Bear in mind, a large number of Wanita members will want Shahrziat out and their main motive will be their personal ambition. Yes, political opportunism is everywhere. It is a vicious cycle but this is Umno and while Wanita Umno may be more subtle, it is every bit as ambitious as the male wings."

    Go before you destroy us all

    According to several senior Wanita leaders interviewed by Malaysian Insider, Shahrizat had become a “liability” to Umno and should exit the limelight before the NFC scandal “destroys us all”.

    “She is using Wanita Umno to protect her but the NFC issue is not a Wanita issue but a personal one involving her and her family. As a Wanita Umno member, I am very disappointed. A lot of us are disappointed... why drag Umno into this issue?” said one woman delegate from Perak.

    “Do not forget, the first person to expose the issue about NFC’s weaknesses was the Auditor-General, not the opposition. So why attack the opposition to hide your own weakness?”

    Malaysia Chronicle
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    Harapkan Pagar, Pagar Makan Padi - So, this is Malay leadership - Farah Fahmy

    National Feedlot Centre


    ARCHIVES 2011

    Sunday, 04 December 2011 admin-s



    On December the 2nd, Deputy IGP Datuk Khalid Bakar issued a police statement stating that police investigations have so far not revealed any criminal breach of trust elements in the management of the NFC. This is rather a perplexing move as the PDRM is forbidden to issue any statements regarding any on-going investigations before it has been completed. The PDRM has also admitted that they have not called in Shahrizat for questioning even though she is the key figure in this controversy.

    Hakim Joe

    Under the 9th Malaysia Plan in 2006, the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) was targeted as a High Impact Project with an objective to attain 40% self-sufficiency for beef production by 2010. The Badawi government then allocated RM4.4 billion for modernizing agriculture farming under the 9MP.

    On March 2007, the Ministry of Agriculture under Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, chose two companies to manage the NFC. They were Agro Science Industries Sdn. Bhd. and Lambert Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. with the former being given a 2,000-hectare land and the latter a 200-hectare land to start off the project. The NFC obtained RM73.64 million from the GOM to establish the project.

    In December 2007, the government approved a soft loan (2% annual interest for a 10 year period) amounting to RM250 million to National Feedlot Corp Sdn Bhd, a JV company between Agro Science Industries Sdn Bhd and the GOM to start a feedlot in Gemas, Negeri Sembilan, the first step in a plan to help Malaysia cut its reliance on beef imports with an initial target of 60,000 heads of cattle a year. Malaysia was then importing 80% of all beef consumed.

    In February 2008, NFC obtained the first batch of 1,000 heads of cattle from Australia.

    In July 2008, just five months after starting operations, the NFC announced that the company would target a 28% self-sufficiency level for beef production by 2010 as opposed to the 40% level set by the GOM under the 9MP.

    In March 2010, the NFC stated that they should achieve the 40% self-sufficiency beef production target by 2015, five years later than expected.

    In October 2011, the Jabatan Audit Negara released the much-delayed 2010 Auditor- General Report in which it revealed wasteful spending by government departments as well as weaknesses of governance which have contributed to the Federal Government’s embedded deficit and debt problems.

    One of the items being highlighted was the NFC Project whereupon an audit was undertaken between January and March 2011 revealed that the objectives of the NFC were not completely achieved because the development of 130 satellite farm entrepreneurs under the Entrepreneur Development Programme was not carried out, and that the main operator withdrew from the project in 2008. Another item was that the NFC only produced 3,289 heads of cattle in 2010 instead of the 8,000 target and that the entire operations were “in a mess”.

    In November 2011, the Opposition exposed financial irregularities in the NFC when it alleged that the NFC gave out loans amounting to over RM84 million to companies owned by Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development and wife of NFC chairman, Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail. It was also alleged that NFC channeled out funds for the purchase of a luxury condominium in Bangsar for RM9,758,140 (it was later exposed that NFC purchased two luxury condominiums at One Menerung in Bangsar for RM6.9 million each), two plots of land in Precinct 10 in Putrajaya for RM3,363,507 and a Mercedes Benz CLS 350 CGI for RM534,622 (through the National Meat and Livestock Corporation) and transferred out RM588,585 to Meatworks (Singapore) Pty. Ltd. Both the National Meat and Livestock Corporation and Meatworks (Singapore) Pty. Ltd. are owned by Shahrizat’s family.

    The Opposition additionally stated that NFC issued 15 cheques from its CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad account in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail to tour agency Impian Global Network Services over a span of seven months on a monthly basis for a total of RM455,423.

    When questioned, Shahrizat said that she had nothing to do with the NFC issue. “I will not clarify (on the NFC issue) but there will be two messages I would like to convey at the Wanita Umno assembly to those outside. Let's wait. As a leader, we need to be patient and calm, and not get easily hysterical. If anyone wants to ask about the NFC, they should ask the NFC people. I will only be focusing on Wanita Umno.”

    NFC’s chairman is Datuk Dr. Mohamad Salleh Ismail (her husband), NFC’s executive director is Wan Shahinur Izmir (her son, age 31), NFC’s CEO is Wan Shahinur Izran (her other son, age 27) and NFC’s director is Wan Izzana Fatimah (her daughter, age 25).

    When NFC purchased the luxury condominium on December the 2nd, 2009 for RM9.8 million, the company reported a RM11 million loss on its annual accounting report. It is also reported that the Chairman received a monthly salary of RM100,000, the executive director RM45,000 a month, the CEO RM35,000 a month and the other director also RM35,000 a month.

    When Kuwaiti-born and Oxford educated Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin came out in defense of Shahrizat, he stated that it was a “good business decision” by the National Livestock and Meat Corporation to invest in a luxury condominium instead of letting the excess (public) funds idly sit in a bank account and that there was nothing improper about the transaction.

    When the current Minister of Agriculture, Datuk Seri Noh Omar (of the “if foreigners think that Malaysia police are brutal, please go back to their own countries and not to stay here” statement) was questioned about NFC’s inability to reach its target of 8,000 heads of cattle, he responded that NFC has indeed produced over 8,000 heads of cattle between 2008 and 2010, and that the project is indeed a success. A few days later, the Agriculture Minister amended his statement and stated that all NFC has to do is to slaughter another 5,742 cattle before the last day of the year (actually 8,000 minus 3,289 equals 4,711) and the project would be a resounding success as the target would then have been met.

    When a report was made by Penang PKR Youth to MACC, the anti corruption agency passed the case to PDRM stating, “The case has been referred to the police because our investigations showed that the offence is not under the jurisdiction of the commission under the MACC Act 2009,”

    When Datuk Dr. Mohamad Salleh Ismail was questioned by PDRM in relation to the two luxury condominiums, he stated that the two units were currently rented out to two different oil and gas companies to provide housing for their expatriate staff and that NFC receives a RM75,000 rental a month, one unit fetching RM18,000 a month and the other unit fetching RM57,000 a month (even a 27,000sf fully furnished bungalow with a swimming pool and spa on Kenny Hills does not command a RM57,000 a month rental). This figure was later amended to RM18,000 a month for both units but the PDRM saw no discrepancy between both answers.

    On December the 2nd, Deputy IGP Datuk Khalid Bakar issued a police statement stating that police investigations have so far not revealed any criminal breach of trust elements in the management of the NFC. This is rather a perplexing move as the PDRM is forbidden to issue any statements regarding any on-going investigations before it has been completed. The PDRM has also admitted that they have not called in Shahrizat for questioning even though she is the key figure in this controversy.

    For those uninformed, the NFC was first mooted in 2003 by Dr. Rosli Mai Lam of Lazuli Sdn. Bhd. who remains a partner in this project. Dr. Rosli of Lazuli, as known to the players in the industry, is a supplier of cattle and other complementary livestock supplies to anyone entering the livestock industry in Malaysia.
    py

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    Tuesday, 20 December 2011 15:15

    NFC bought RM10mil S'pore condo registered in the name of Shahrizat's family

    Written by Melissa Lee, Malaysia Chronicle

    Two luxurious condos at One Menerung, Bangsar, a super-class Mercedes Benz, 2 plots of upmarket residential land, million-ringgit discounts and cash transfers to family-owned firms do not seem to be enough for Umno minister Shahrizat Jalil.

    According to PKR, more money was siphoned out from the RM250mil NFC cattle livestock project to buy another luxury condominium — this time in Singapore at a cost of SGD4.1mil or RM9.9mil - registered in the names of her husband and children.

    They demanded that Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is also the Umno president, break his "golden silence" and immediately freeze NFC's operations to prevent further money from being siphoned out of the country.
    “What is even more nauseating is that the unit was registered directly under the names of Shahrizat’s family members, instead of the company... they were jointly registered under (husband) Mohamad Salleh Ismail and their two children Izran and Izzana,” PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution told a press conference on Tuesday.

    Top range condo at Orchard Scotts Residences

    The 2,282-square feet condo in Singapore is one of the largest available units at the posh Orchard Scotts Residences on Anthony Road. It was purchased on January 27, 2010.

    PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli said that unlike the Bangsar condos, the Singapore unit was purchased through Real Foods Company (RFC) and the National Meat and Livestock Corporation (NMLC), both of which are firms owned by Shahrizat’s family members.

    Rafizi pointed out that PKR had previously supplied a paper trail showing direct transfers of funds from NFC to RFC and NMLC.

    “What we really have to question is how a loss-making business like the NFC could afford to make four real estate purchases — almost RM30 million of real estate... two pieces of land and two purchases of condominium units," said Rafizi, who was also at the press conference.

    “Plus, on the meagre salary of a minister? And the family’s businesses are all running into losses... I have full confidence that in that."

    Bangsar, Singapore

    After an initial denial, Shahrizat's husband Salleh - the NFC executive chairman - was forced to admit that NFC purchased two condominium units at the luxurius One Menerung in Bangsar for a staggering RM6.9 million each. He claimed the purchase was for investment reasons, saying that the units were rental cash cows.
    Salleh was slammed for his facetious remarks, although Umno leaders including Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin rushed to support Salleh's explanation. But neither Umno men could explain why a national project to build a cattle livestock industry so as to enable Malaysians access to cheap beef should invest in property instead of satellite farms and the like.

    The project was awarded to Shahrizat's family in 2006 and she has insisted she has no knowledge of how it was being run. She also denied her family got the project because of her ministerial position, although her Umno colleagues have ridiculed her claims. Several leaders including former premier Mahathir Mohamad have called on her to quit before she was "chased out" from the party.

    According to Saifuddin, the Singapore condo purchase confirmed PKR’s earlier revelations that NFC funds were being channeled out to finance the family's Singapore-based companies Meatworks (Singapore) Pte Ltd and Global Biofuture Pte Ltd. PKR had revealed financial records showing that the firms currently had debts with the RFC amounting to RM939,495 (Global Future) and RM2,416,815 (Meatworks).

    Saifuddin also revealed a copy of an email correspondence between Izran and one Donna Yong, who purportedly manages the family’s Meatworks business in Singapore, discussing funds to manage the luxurious eatery.
    “For the duration of three months between October and December 2010, Shahrizat’s family transferred an estimated S$530,000 or RM1.3 million from the government’s funds to manage its personal business in Singapore,” he said.

    “If this happened throughout 2010 and 2011, it is likely the funds have surpassed RM10 million for the business in Singapore.”

    Malaysia Chronicle
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    Thursday, 22 December 2011 14:07

    Tell me, which Umno leader does not have problem, asks Shahrizat as MACC begins probe

    http://malaysia-chronicle.com/index....bacle&Itemid=2

    Written by Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

    Amid signs that Prime Minister Najib Razak's Umno party was fast unraveling, hit by massive graft and infighting amongst its top leadership, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has announced that a special team would be formed to investigate claims that Umno minister Shahrizat Jalil's family had squandered public funds allocated to the RM250 million NFC cattle livestock project on personal items and luxurious assets.

    However, instead of appeasing public anger, all eyes are now on the drama at play in Umno. While Shahrizat has hinted she was ready to quit, it is unlikely that she will allow herself to be railroaded or be made an easy scapegoat of by her own party mates.

    All eyes are now on how Najib, himself the subject of a probe by the French government over allegations of having taken a RM570 million kickback from French arms giant DCN, will deal with the NFC issue. Najib is also the Umno president.

    “Tell me, which Umno leader does not have problem?” was Shahrizat's sharp retort when asked to comment whether she would heed the growing calls to resign, as recently reported in the Sin Chew newspaper.

    The Umno-MACC 'sandiwara'

    Indeed, public cynicism is inevitable given that the MACC had previously passed the buck to the police despite receiving reports from Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim's Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

    The Najib administration lost further credibility when Deputy Inspector General of Police Khalid Bakar publicly declared there were no elements of criminal breach of trust during the recent Umno annual assembly. Often called a stooge for the Umno-led government, Khalid was accused of 'play-acting' in a bid to save the party from embarrassment.

    "We have acted accordingly by collecting evidence and statements since the issue was reported in the Auditor-General's Report. A large part of the issues brought up in the latest complaint (against NFC) had already been acted upon,” MACC investigations director Mustafar Ali said in a statement released on Thursday.

    The MACC was also quick to stress it could not divulge details of investigations as stipulated under Section 29(4) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009. “We call on the parties to give their full co-operation by not politicising the issues which could affect our investigation,” Mustafar added.

    Given the defensive tone of the statement, it was clear to political watchers that the MACC was not going to do much to uncover the dirt in NFC or National Feedlot Centre, a project aimed to raise local supply of beef to up to 40% of consumption and keep prices affordable.
    The project was awarded to Shahrizat's husband, Salleh Ismail, and her children in 2006 by the then Agriculture minister Muhyiddin Yassin on the prodding of Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, the son-in-law of former premier Abdullah Badawi. Najib, then the deputy prime minister, also played a part in approving the project to Shahrizat's family.

    Take the blame and save the rest of us, colleagues tell Shahrizat

    This is believed to be the latest 'sandiwara' or drama enacted by Umno to tell Shahrizat to quit her Cabinet post and take the blame before snap general elections are held next year.

    No one is expecting any major change in the attitude of the top Umno leaders, who are renowned for their corruption-tainted records - as Shahrizat herself alluded to.

    "Both Shahrizat and Umno are shameless. The issue is why such a loan was given to her family when she was holding the position of a Cabinet minister. It is impossible they could have got the loan if she were not a minister. She and her family have deprived needy and hardworking Malaysians from the benefit of the fund (meant to supply everyday Malaysians with a cheap source of beef)," PKR vice president N Surendran told Malaysia Chronicle.

    "It is also pointless to blame Shahrizat alone. Umno bears the biggest blame. Benefiting cronies and families from public funds is a central part of Umno's political culture."

    Victim of the Mahathir legacy of corruption?

    Furthermore, those who have called on her to quit before she is "chased out" include former premier Mahathir Mohamad, notorious for defining and expanding Umno's feudal system of politics where the ruling elite have carte blanche over almost every aspect of economic and political life in Malaysia.

    In the recently released Global Financial Integrity report, Malaysia was identified as the 4th most corrupt nation in the world, losing a total of US$338 billion (RM1.08 trillion) in illicit outflows over the first decade of the century.

    GFI also said the Malaysian increase was “at a scale seen in few Asian countries.” In January, it had reported that RM930 billion flowed out of Malaysia from 2000 to 2008, growing to RM218 billion per year from an initial RM71 billion in that period.

    “This report should be a wake-up call to world leaders that more must be done to address these harmful outflows,” GFI director Raymond Baker said in a press release.

    Upon release of the GFI's report in January, it was telling that one of the first Umno leaders to cast doubt on the renowned Washington-based body was Mukhriz Mahathir, the youngest son of the former PM.

    Now 86, Mahathir ruled Malaysia for 22 years and is widely believed to be the leader who has salted away the biggest fortune at taxpayers' expense.
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    Saturday, 24 December 2011 09:20

    NFC: Mahfuz warns MACC over probe, says PM, DPM must also be called


    Written by -


    The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission which reversed its earlier decision not to to investigate scandal-plagued National Feedlot Corporation has been urged to also haul up deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yasin and his boss Najib Razak for investigation.

    PAS vice president Mahfuz Omar said Muhyiddin should be called as he was the then Agriculture minister, while Najib was the chairman of high impact projects committee which approved the RM250 million project awarded to the family of Women, Family and Development minister, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

    “MACC and the police must show transparency and integrity by calling cabinet members including the prime minister and deputy prime minister. We don’t want the investigation to only focus on where the RM250 million given to NFC had been spent,” said the Pokok Sena member of parliament.

    Earlier, in a sharp turn from its earlier insistence that NFC should be a police case, MACC announced the setting-up of a special team headed by its investigation director Mustafar Ali to probe whether there was criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of funds in the scandal.

    -Harakahdaily


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    Najib says NFC assets frozen


    UPDATED @ 04:27:42 PM 14-01-2012
    By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
    January 14, 2012


    KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — The National Feedlot Corporation’s (NFC) assets have been frozen for the time being, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today, following the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) probe into the company’s highly-publicised scandal.


    The prime minister said he has asked Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar to study how the NFC issue could be resolved.

    (Admin: Hahaha! That's like asking Petronas why they spent so much on Putrajaya.)


    Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (picture) said in a statement this week that she has asked Najib to give her three weeks’ leave to allow the MACC to conduct its investigations.


    “I hope the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission will be able to investigate whether or not I was involved in any of the decisions made by the government on the NFC in which my husband, Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail, is the executive chairman,” she had said.


    Najib said today Shahrizat’s decision to take leave from her ministerial duties was appropriate, and that it would enable the authority to investigate if she was involved in alleged misappropriation of federal funds meant for NFC.


    “I’ve discussed with Datuk Seri Shahrizat about the leave, and it is an appropriate decision as it allows the authority to carry out a thorough investigation.


    “Datuk Seri Shahrizat said she was willing to be investigated fully. What happens after this will depend on the outcome of the investigation,” he was quoted by national news agency Bernama as saying.


    Shahrizat’s leave from ministerial duties is being seen as Putrajaya’s plan for damage control for the Wanita Umno chief and her party following allegations of financial improprieties in her family-run cattle-farming project funded by the government, say sources.


    The Malaysian Insider understands that the Najib administration felt this was the best move in the current situation although some in the Umno rank-and-file including members of Shahrizat’s family felt her break from work is an admission of guilt in the scandal-hit NFC project.


    It is also learnt that punitive action could be taken against Shahrizat’s husband Datuk Mohamed Salleh Ismail and their children after the MACC and police complete their probe into the NFC, which received a government soft loan of RM250 million in 2008. The Auditor-General’s Report 2011 had described the project as a mess.

    PKR had disclosed an email earlier this week detailing how NFC’s lawyer allegedly told a MACC advisory board member that an official in the company had been tricked into paying money to a “conman” to influence a police probe into the project.


    According to the email, the lawyer told the advisory board member how the NFC official had been tricked into paying money to a “conman” — understood to be Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail — to allegedly influence ongoing investigations by the police.


    Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas confirmed to The Malaysian Insider that he authored the email which PKR has presented as proof that a top NFC official had allegedly tried to bribe the police.


    “He (the lawyer) told us about this conman’s story, about how this sweet-talking guy managed to convince his desperate client to part with his money so that he can get the police to be ‘less brutal’ in their interrogation!


    “It’s sad to see how stupid one can get when you are stuck ‘between a rock and a hard place’!” the email said.

    Shamsubahrin was recently charged with cheating Mohamad Salleh of RM1.76 million in fraudulent consultancy fees.


    Mohamed Salleh had earlier said Shamsubahrin was neither a relative nor has he ever been an NFC employee.

    Police and the MACC are probing the NFC for possible criminal breach of trust following PKR’s allegations that at least RM27 million in federal funds meant for the cattle-raising scheme had been used to purchase land and property unrelated to cattle farming.


    The opposition party first latched onto the issue after the NFC, which lists all three of Shahrizat’s children as directors, made it into last year’s Auditor-General’s Report for failing to meet production targets.


    PKR has since made several revelations relating to the scandal, including NFC’s purchase of two luxury condominium units in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, and the alleged use of project funds to pay for Shahrizat and her family’s personal expenses.


    It also claimed there was a transfer of resources to unrelated companies in Singapore, as well as the purchase of a Mercedes-Benz CLS350 for RM534,622 and two plots of land in Putrajaya’s Precinct 10 for RM3,363,507.

    PKR further alleged that some RM10 million had been diverted towards the purchase of a luxury condominium unit in Singapore for Shahrizat’s family.


    Shahrizat has denied any wrongdoing and stated she is “only the wife” of the project’s chairman.


    The senator has faced calls to quit from within Umno including from influential former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
    py

  8. #8
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    PKR says NFC asset freeze not enough, wants full audit



    By Yow Hong Chieh
    January 14, 2012
    ALOR STAR, Jan 14 — PKR welcomed Putrajaya’s move to freeze the National Feedlot Corporation’s (NFC) assets but stressed it would continue to push for a full audit by an administrator on the scandal-hit company’s books.


    Party strategic director Rafizi Ramli said this was because freezing assets alone would not allow the full extent of the publicly-funded cattle scheme’s alleged financial abuse to be known.


    “We still want an administrator to go in and conduct a full audit,” he told The Malaysian Insider on the sidelines of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) convention here.


    Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak disclosed today that the NFC’s assets had been frozen for the time being, according to Bernama Online.
    He also said he had instructed Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar to study how best to resolve the NFC issue.


    Rafizi (picture) also said Najib would also have to reveal how he intended to recover NFC funds allegedly transferred to overseas private companies owned by federal minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil and her family.
    Shahrizat’s husband, Datuk Mohamad Salleh Ismail, runs the NFC.


    “We would have to wait for the details as to how and under what law Najib is going to recover all these assets,” Rafizi said.


    He added that Najib and Muhyiddin could not push all blame to Shahrizat as they too were responsible for awarding the project to her family in the first place.


    “Najib and Muhyiddin cannot wash their hands (of this project)... It was because of their oversight and negligence that all these monies were misappropriated and transferred out in the first place,” he said.
    The NFC issue came to light when the 2010 Auditor-General’s Report pointed out that the corporation had badly failed to meet production targets.


    Shahrizat applied for three weeks’ leave from her duties, starting yesterday, after new allegations of bribery surfaced recently involving the RM250 million NFC project.
    py

  9. #9
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    NFC asset freeze meaningless without pay cut, says Kit Siang

    By Lisa J. Ariffin
    January 16, 2012


    KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 — The temporary freeze of the National Feedlot Corporation’s (NFC) assets is meaningless unless the collective monthly salaries of Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil’s family is slashed by two-thirds from RM215,000 to RM71,000, Lim Kit Siang said today.


    The DAP parliamentary leader also said the freeze “offends the most elementary sense of right and wrong of decent Malaysians” as NFC operation continues uninterrupted despite the announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak two days ago.


    “What is the purpose of the ‘temporary freeze’ when there has been no ‘hair-cut’ on the Shahrizat family in the NFC to curb their extravagant salaries and lifestyles?” Lim (picture) asked in a press statement, saying that the least Malaysians expect would be two-thirds cut in the monthly salaries of its chairman, executive director, director and CEO.


    “It raises the critical thinking Malaysians whether the ‘temporary freeze’ of NFC assets was nothing but a charade to appease an increasingly outraged Malaysian population.”


    Lim said that when NFC executive director Wan Shahinur Izmir Salleh announced that it was “business as usual” following the announcement, “what hit Malaysians in the face is the realisation that the gross abuse of public funds is continuing without any let-up.”


    “Ordinary Malaysians are outraged that after more than six months after the revelations Auditor-General about the NFC ‘mess’, nothing has been done whether by the Cabinet or NFC to put things right,” he said.


    “What is worse, there is a complete absence of remorse or admission of grave wrong and injustices in the gross misuse of NFC funds.”


    Lim pointed out the grave question is how much of the NFC assets have actually been frozen.


    “Can Najib specifically answer the many questions about the “temporary freeze” of NFC assets — the who, when, where, how and what assets have been frozen and what value?” he asked.


    “Malaysians would not be surprised if NFC has been reduced to an empty shell with the many dubious corporate manipulations misusing NFC as have been publicly exposed in the past three months.”


    Shahrizat applied for three weeks’ leave from her duties last week after new allegations of bribery surfaced recently involving the RM250 million NFC project, which is operated by her husband and two of their children.
    The NFC issue came to light when the 2010 Auditor-General’s Report pointed out that the corporation had badly failed to meet production targets.
    py

  10. #10
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    Investigate Agriculture Ministry too, says Singapore daily

    By Debra Chong
    January 16, 2012


    KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 — Malaysia’s Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry must be investigated for its role in the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal, Singapore’s Business Times (BT) said today as criticism against Umno-linked politicians continue to sharpen.


    In a commentary piece published today, the Singapore daily pointed out that the public’s demand for government accountability has been made clear from the way they voted in Election 2008, which saw the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition lose its two-thirds grip on Parliament.


    Muhyiddin was the agriculture minister then when the NFC was awarded to Shahrizat’s family. — File pic

    It noted too that from the Auditor-General’s 2010 report — when the cattle project came to light and showed the corporation, run by the family of Minister Datuk Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, had badly failed to meet production targets — the government had also failed to monitor the costly national project, and questioned if there been a failure of fiduciary duty on the part of government officials as well.
    “The role of the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry should also be investigated,” Singapore’s BT said.


    It pointed out that it was the ministry that had approved the project in the first place and disbursed the RM250 million soft loan.


    “And why did the ministry give the money out at what seems to be unseemly haste? All the money was dished out a year after the deal was signed. Shouldn’t the funds have gone out on a schedule that matched the project’s delivery?” it added.
    Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was the minister then when the NFC was awarded to Shahrizat’s family. He is now deputy prime minister and his Agriculture portfolio has since been taken over by Datuk Seri Noh Omar.


    “Essentially, what’s needed are clear guidelines that establish the ground rules for the management of state-backed ventures. The days of ‘just winging it’ are over, and Mr Najib had better realise that,” the paper concluded.


    The Singapore newspaper’s commentary echoed several opposition lawmakers who have been calling for the government accountability on this particular case.


    DAP MP Lim Kit Siang has been pushing the Umno ministers who, he said, owed the public a full account of why they had allowed the NFC scandal to reach such a “disgraceful proportion” under their charge.


    Shahrizat applied for three weeks’ leave from her duties last week after new allegations of bribery surfaced recently involving the RM250 million NFC project, which is operated by her husband and two of their children.
    py

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