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

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    'Cowgate' might cloud PM's reform pledges

    The prosecutors charged a minister's husband today with criminal breach of trust and embezzlement in a case that threatens to tarnish the government ahead of widely expected elections this year.

    Mohamad Salleh Ismail, husband of Women, Families and Communities Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, is the chairperson of a publicly funded cattle rearing project the political opposition said was used to pay for expensive overseas trips and luxury apartments.

    Mohamad Salleh (second from left) could not immediately be reached for comment.

    An official from the attorney general's office said Mohamad Salleh was charged with two counts of criminal breach of trust as well as two counts of misusing nearly RM50 million from the RM250 million project.

    The 64-year-old pleaded not guilty to all counts.

    The charges come a day after Shahrizat said she would resign as a minister on April 8. She will remain as the head of the women's wing of Malaysia's ruling party, the United Malays National Organisation.

    The 'Cowgate' scandal, as it has been dubbed, could be potentially damaging as the farmyard connection makes it easier for poor rural Malays, who form the bedrock of Umno's support, to relate to it than other financial scandals.

    Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in January froze the assets of the National Feedlot Centre, which was supposed to make Malaysia 40 percent self-sufficient in beef production by 2010, and instructed the anti-corruption commission to investigate.

    Yet the slow pace of the investigations, denials of wrongdoing by Shahrizat's family and fresh accusations appearing almost daily on the opposition- dominated news websites have threatened to overshadow Najib's reform pledges.

    Najib's approval ratings have risen to 69 percent in February from 59 percent in August after the government handed out funds to lower income households this year.

    The handouts come as Najib seeks to win back support from voters in polls that must be held by April 2013 but are likely to be called in the first half of 2012 before a looming global slowdown hits Malaysia.

    Corruption and rising income and racial inequalities saw voters abandon Najib's National Front (BN) coalition, which Umno dominates, in favour of the opposition that made historic gains in 2008.

    While three government officials have faced corruption charges in Najib's campaign against graft since he took power in 2009, Malaysia has not done too well in Transparency International's corruption perceptions index.

    The southeast Asian country was ranked 60th out of the 182 nations in the index last year, down four places from 2010.

    - Reuters

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    Muhyiddin: Shahrizat's resignation a big sacrifice

    NFC scandal mocks rule of law

    What resignation? Her term expires in April

    Senior NFC person expected to be charged today

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Don’t cry for me Argentina: Shahrizat resigns! — Sakmongkol AK47
    March 15, 2012

    MARCH 15 — The other night as I was surfing the Astro channels, I came upon an interview with a crying woman. She was crying because Shahrizat Abdul Jalil had announced she would resign her Cabinet post. The poor crying woman was also saying — if Shahrizat resigns, then Nik Aziz must also resign. I suppose she was alluding to the case involving Nik Aziz’s son in law. The SIL was cleared.

    The woman need not worry. If it’s a case involving opposition politicians and those related to them in question, the government machinery will leave no stones unturned to get to the bottom of the case.

    Let me share with you the thoughts of a frequent visitor to my blog. This person shows he is a concerned Malaysian, mindful of the future of our country. He comments under the penname of OneMalaysian.

    Here is a woman, whose husband clearly got RM250 million in very soft loans from the government to rear cows to meet 40 per cent of beef demand, but who instead took that money, spent a little bit on the actual project, and used the rest to invest in properties in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, and to pay astronomical and undeserved salaries to her family.

    Her husband has no background in rearing cows or producing meat. So why give him RM250 million when FELDA actually has a subsidiary that does? Why does the government give RM250 million to a well-to-do Bumiputera family when there are thousands of Malays living in rural Malaysia who clearly deserve just such a loan?

    It is obvious, therefore, that Salleh, the husband, would not have got the loan if not for his wife’s position in the Cabinet and in Umno. Did she have no knowledge that that loan was given to her husband? Do we believe that she did not lobby for it? If it is true that she had nothing to do with the NFC project, are we to assume that the Cabinet and Muhyiddin drew lots from a big hat containing about 10 million Malay names and out popped Salleh’s name. He was the lucky Malay who got the loan. It could well have been Ariff Sabri, but sorry, Sakmongkol.

    This is outright abuse of power by those who gave her family the loan. It is corruption because she had abused her position in the Cabinet. It is morally wrong because RM250 million could have been used to help the poor Malays, who deserve such help more than Shahrizat and her wealthy family.

    And now, listen to what the PM and DPM say when she finally “resigns”. It was a sacrifice! Give me a RM250 million soft loan that may never be repaid and I will resign from any position! “Magnanimous”, that’s the word Muhyiddin used to describe her resignation. Hah? You abuse RM250 million of public money, resign reluctantly, and that is magnanimous?

    And look how weak and immoral the PM is. Cabinet members serve at his pleasure. And if they don’t resign when they should, he has absolute power to sack them. But Najib seems powerless. He has to wait for her senatorship to expire, and then leave, that is, at her pleasure, not his. We cannot have such a weak, powerless, immoral PM governing this country. It is not good for the ordinary Malays, and not good for anyone else, except the Shahrizats of Malaysia.

    If this sad NFC episode does not shake the ordinary Malays out of their stupor and see their leaders as thieves and not their benefactors and protectors, then nothing else would.

    Res ipsa loquitur? —

    * Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de plume of Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz. He was Pulau Manis assemblyman (2004-200.

    * This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.


  3. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Wong Teck Chi 8:56AM Mar 17, 2012

    The National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal involving the family of Women, Family and Community Development Shahrizat Minister Abdul Jalil has caught the attention of Singapore media.

    Singaporean daily The Straits Times on Thursday listed all four companies owned by Shahrizat’s family members in the island republic involving restaurants, food and fuel trading, investment holding and the supermarket business.

    Among them is an investment holding company, Icube Investments Pte Ltd, with a paid-up capital of S$1 million (RM2.4 million).

    According to the company profile obtained from the Singaporean Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), the directors and shareholders are Shahrizat’s husband Mohamad Salleh Ismail and their son, Wan Shahinur Izran.

    The other three companies were earlier exposed by the opposition - Global Biofuture Pte Ltd, Meatworks (Singapore) Pte Ltd and Farmhouse Supermarkets Pte Ltd.

    Daughter, two sons also directors

    Besides Salleh and Izran, Shahrizat’s daughter Wan Izzana Fatimah Zabedah and another son, Wan Shahinur Izmir, are also directors of these companies.

    The opposition has raised suspicion that the RM250 million government soft loan given to NFC to develop the National Feedlot Center project had been illegally transferred to other companies under their personal names.

    The paid-up capital for all these four companies in Singapore is S$3.65 million, or RM8.85 million.

    According to the daily, all of the companies share the same address in Clifford Centre in Raffles Place. However, it is the registered address and office of legal firm, Wong Alliance.
    Malaysiakini noted that the four companies were formed soon after Shahrizat’s family secured the National Feedlot Centre project in 2007 and obtained its first drawdown of RM7 million of the government loan in January 2008.

    The family also owns a number high-end condominiums in Singapore, including a unit in the posh Orchard Scotts (right).

    In the wake of the scandal, Shahrizat will relinquish her minister's post when the term of her senatorship ends next month.


  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    NFC: ‘Whistleblower’ reveals himself

    Teoh El Sen

    | May 14, 2012
    An ex-bank employee claims he has been 'illegally' and unfairly harassed by the authorities after allegations that he leaked account details of NFCorp directors.


    PETALING JAYA: A former bank employee, believed to be a key whistleblower in the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) scandal, revealed himself today at the PKR headquarters, claiming that he has been “illegally” and unfairly harassed by the authorities for the past one month.

    Johari Mohamad (picture left), who worked in the Jinjang Public Bank branch, has even quit his job of 17 years as a clerk in the credit department of the bank after the immense pressure of being investigated internally and by Bank Negara.

    He is being accused of allegedly leaking out information related to NFCorp to an anauthorised third party.

    “On April 24, 2012, I received a letter from my employer accusing me of breaching guidelines and discipline at the workplace following a complaint by [NFCorp chairman] Mohamad Salleh Ismail,” Johari said at a press conference with his legal representative, PKR vice-president N Surendran and PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli.

    Johari is being investigated under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act ( BAFIA) 1989, which PKR said was a draconian legislation that could land Johari a five-year prison term and up to RM5 million in fines.

    “I have gone through a domestic inquiry. Following the pressure at the workplace and various actions taken against me, I have made the decision to quit my job on May 2,” Johari said.
    Johari was today called to Bank Negara for his statement to be taken in an official criminal investigation against him under the BAFIA.

    Said Rafizi: “This, I believe, may be the first case of prosecuting a whistleblower in Malaysia.”

    “I’m disappointed with Mohamad Salleh for hunting down innocent people suspected of helping expose the NFCorp scandal. He pursued this to the point where action is being taken against Johari,” he said.

    “Enough is enough. It’s immoral to go after the people who have done the right thing. Stop going after Johari or anyone else. Drop the investigations immediately,” he said.

    ‘Vengeful rampage’

    Johari is accused of leaking information from the accounts of Mohamad Salleh, Agroscience Industries Sdn Bhd, National Meat and Livestock Corporation Sdn Bhd and NFC Sdn Bhd.

    Johari, said Rafizi, was being accused of leaking information on the buying of the luxury property at KL Eco City by NFC Sdn Bhd.
    However, throughout the press conference, Johari refused to confirm or deny if he had really leaked the information as charged, according to Public Bank inquiry and the Bank Negara investigations.

    Asked if Johari is guilty of the accusations and was really a whistleblower, the PKR leaders said that Johari cannot comment on that as it may jeopardise and prejudice his court case.
    Rafizi also said that former Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil would have been fully aware of this “vengeful rampage”.

    “All this vendetta would have surely have been discussed and got the blessings of Shahrizat. She is fully aware that her family is going on a rampage,” Rafizi said.

    “He [Mohamad Salleh] lied about the number of cows, he lied about the condominiums and now he lies about not going on a vendetta against those he thinks are involved.

    “Does he not realise he’s putting Umno in a bad light? I’m sure Umno members are sick of the selfish actions of that family, especially with the general election nearing. Politically, it’s scoring points for Pakatan Rakyat

    ‘Obscene act’

    “Mohamad also lied to the court. He said that he was supposed to go for the haj but during those specific days, he was pressuring for action against Johari. That’s why I’m angry. For him to take the moral high ground and to take legal action against Johari right now just stinks…

    “If Mohamad Salleh is not warned, he will continue with his vendetta and start prosecuting everybody. He will make use of government institutions to punish those he believed helped expose the NFCorp case.

    Meanwhile, Surendran said this was an “obscene” act by the authorities to go after Johari, and many of its procedures appears to be “illegal”.

    “Whether he [Johari] is the person or not… how can you try to criminalise a public-spirited and civic-minded act that should be praised and [the person] awarded with a medal for revealing information on huge misappropriation of public funds?”

    Surendran also said the manner in which Johari was grilled for about a month by his own bank, with the “direct” involvement of Bank Negara, before he was brought to a internal inquiry was “illegal”.

    He claimed that the notice from Bank Negara seeking for him to appear today as a suspect is also illegal as it does not state clearly what Johari is being accused of.

    As the case will fall under the Attorney-General, Surendran also said it is unlikely that action against Johari would be fair. “We all know [the A-G] is nothing more than an apparatus of the BN government. This is basically a cover-up.”

    On BAFIA, Surendran said: “It is a draconian act that forces Johari to answer questions even if it incriminates himself or others. This goes against principles of criminal law and goes against the Criminal Procedure Code. This is unconstitutional and we will be challenging it.”

    Asked if the call to stop investigations would jeopardise public confidence in banking institutions, Rafizi said that banking and finance legislations in other countries were not as draconian.

    “From the way I look at it, BAFIA was written to protect the robber and the corrupt. What kind of Act is this? I admit I initially didn’t know how bad BAFIA was, but now I realise, even if the Agong had revealed something, he would go to jail. It is extremely biased, and is against public interest.

    “The legislations just don’t match. The Anti-Money Laundering Act compels any bank personnel, as they go through the records, to tell the bank if the client is suspected of something. We have the Whistleblower Protection Act but that doesn’t stop them from using the BAFIA. We started off with NFCorp, but now we are looking at how our legislations are flawed.”

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Putrajaya says determined to recover NFC funds

    UPDATED @ 08:53:45 PM 29-10-2012
    By Clara Chooi
    Assistant News Editor

    October 29, 2012
    ct 29 - Putrajaya said today it is determined to recover monies lost in the RM250 million National Feedlot Centre (NFC) project, the controversial cattle-farming scheme that hit media headlines last year after it was highlighted for mismanagement in the Auditor-General’s Report 2010.

    Responding to several opposition lawmakers in the Dewan Rakyat here, Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar (picture) said discussions were still ongoing between the government and several companies on the best option that would ensure the government recovers the federal soft loan.

    “We want to take over the management (of the NFC) and most importantly, we want to recover the government’s money,” he told the House.

    Noh said the Najib Cabinet had elected Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to lead the discussions, adding that it was imperative that the federal cattle-farming scheme survives as it is an important project for the country’s future.

    He stressed that despite the issues surrounding the NFC, the scheme is still operational with some 12,000 cattle reared at 38 out of 57 satellite farms.

    When questioned on the financial assets of the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp), however, the firm in the centre of the scandal, the minister pointed out to Zuraida Kamaruddin (PKR-Ampang) that the matter was still in the courts.

    “I cannot say any more, except that the firm did ask to lift the freeze on its assets... but this could not be approved,” he said.

    PKR’s Rafizi Ramli recently said that Putrajaya was unlikely to see the return of the RM250 million in public funds lent to NFCorp even if it initiates a civil suit against the company.

    The firm, owned by the family members of former minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and picked to run the NFC cattle-farming project, hit the headlines last year when the Auditor-General in his 2010 report stated that it had missed production targets.

    The opposition party’s strategy chief, who spearheaded corruption allegations against the company over the project, pointed out that the Auditor-General had in his 2011 report tabled this week in Parliament recommended legal action against NFCorp to claim back public money owed.

    He claimed that it was the other companies fully-owned by Shahrizat’s family which had nothing to do with the national feedlot project and not NFCorp that had allegedly embezzled and bought luxury assets.

    The opposition had alleged that NFCorp directors used the loan meant for a federal cattle-farming scheme to buy or finance properties in Kazakhstan and Singapore worth at least RM45 million, and to siphon out at least RM12 million to their own companies in the island state.

    PKR had also accused NFCorp of “hunting down” alleged whistleblowers to “put the lid on” claims the company abused the RM250 million federal loan to finance property, luxury cars and expenses unrelated to cattle farming.

    Shahrizat, who had headed the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry when the project was awarded to her family in 2006, relinquished her Cabinet post in early April over the allegations against her family.

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