Posts Tagged ‘Cattle Project

07
Mar
12

Loan agreement shows NFCorp broke terms, says Pua

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — DAP MP Tony Pua today revealed the loan agreement signed by the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp), which he claimed proved the company had violated conditions attached to the RM250 million facility.

The DAP publicity chief pointed out that Clause 3 of the agreement clearly states that the federal loan should be used to “part finance the project as described in the First Schedule of this agreement”.

The First Schedule states that use of the loan must be “consistent with the government of Malaysia’s policy of developing, promoting and nurturing the production of beef and beef products through the National Feedlot Centre as a centre for commercial and integrated cattle feedlot”.

“It cannot be more obvious. Use of the funds can only strictly be used to part finance the setting up of the centre and nothing else,” Pua (picture) told reporters at DAP headquarters here.

“So all the claims made by the executives and directors of NFCorp that they can use the money for anything is complete rubbish.”

He added that this point was reinforced by Clause 18.1(b), which states that as long as the loan is in existence, NFCorp must use the borrowed monies “for the purpose as stated in Clause 3 of this agreement”.

Pua also took to task the Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Ministry for allowing NFCorp to draw down on the special loan account, noting that such requests have to be accompanied by a progress report from the company.

The progress report must be signed off by an authorised technical committee chaired by an official from the ministry, according to the agreement.

“They have to sign the progress report. So the fact that the drawdown has taken place despite the fact that NFC has failed to meet its targets… (shows that) the Ministry of Agriculture is equally culpable for the mess,” he said.

NFCorp must also provide monthly bank statements to the Finance Ministry on a quarterly basis with a statement setting out how the loan monies were used, Pua said, and questioned why the ministry allowed the loan to continue.

“Unless NFCorp submitted false reports. Then that would be definitely criminal. Now, we don’t know if they submitted false reports at this point in time.

“It is the Ministry of Finance that has to verify the contents of those reports,” he said, adding that the ministry official who briefed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on NFCorp stated that no mention of property purchases had been made in any report.

…more
Loan agreement shows NFCorp broke terms, says Pua
February 25, 2012 – TMI

02
Mar
12

DPM led approval of NFC award to minister’s family, says PAS veep

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — PAS vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar alleged today that it was Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who chaired committee that awarded the RM250 million National Feedlot Centre (NFC) project to Agroscience Sdn Bhd, a company owned by minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abd Jalil’s husband.

Claiming this was revealed during the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) probe on the cattle-farming scandal, the PAS leader repeated demands for the committee to reveal details of its findings by making the minutes of its meeting public.

Mahfuz asked if there was pressure to keep the PAC minutes under wraps.
He said the minutes of the PAC’s meeting on November 23 last year would help the public understand that the scope of the scandal did not merely involve the mishandling of NFC’s funds, but also the roles of other top leaders before the project was kicked off.

The Pokok Sena MP expressed suspicion over PAC chairman Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid’s apparent reluctance to reveal the committee’s findings and asked if the Umno leader was “under pressure”.

“I have sought for the meeting minutes before and the response that Azmi first gave was that an MP must first write in to him to request for the documents.

“Then he suddenly said that the request must come from the opposition leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“Then, again he turned around to say that Anwar, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and DAP’s Lim Kit Siang must each send in separate letters to request for the minutes… I see as if there is something pressuring him in this matter,” Mahfuz said at a press conference here.

The PAS leader pointed out that Azmi had admitted shortly after the PAC’s probe on the NFC that there was something amiss in the handling of the multimillion ringgit project.

As such, said Mahfuz, the PAC chairman should not wait for official letters from MPs before disclosing PAC’s meeting minutes in public.

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DPM led approval of NFC award to minister’s family, says PAS veep
February 20, 2012 – TMI

02
Mar
12

Holy cow: What hold does Shahrizat have on Najib that he dares not to sack her?

One has to wonder to what degree of influence does Women’s minister Sharizat Jalil have over Prime Minister Najib Razak. Indeed, despite the mountain of demands to have her either removed forcibly or to resign voluntarily, she remains a fixture in the both in the Malaysian Cabinet and the jolly pirate ship that is Umno – a corruption-riddled party that has ruled Malaysia since 1957.

Back to work after a three-week leave and being questioned by the MACC, Shahrizat goes about her business much the same as usual. No doubt, the smile is a bit plastered on and the worry and stress lines have left ravaging marks on her face. But what stick does Shahrizat have that when she waves it, Najib would cower in fright? Or so it may seem on the surface because the NFC is actually much more than meets the eye. It is actually a classic reflection of how dirty politics is within Umno itself and how desperate the infighting has become.

Scripted drama

At a midweek meeting of the BNl coalition, Najib sought to give the impression that the NFC scandal and Shahrizat’s future were of so little importance that the BN did not even discuss it. “No, no, not discussed here. And it is the prerogative of the prime minister,” he told a press conference.

Since it is the prerogative of the prime minister to fire a cabinet member, the opposite is true too. Er… not the Cabinet minister firing the prime minister, but it is also the prerogative of the PM to keep any minister he likes in office. As such, given that Shahrizat’s BN colleagues from Gerakan, MCA and even Umno itself have expressed their wish for her to step down, the only reason for her remaining has to be Najib.

Najib’s insistence on keeping Shahrizat seems to be at odds with many of the influential within his own Umno party, including ex premier Mahathir Mohamad and ex-Trade minister Rafidah Aziz. Although, Najib has been suspected of asking Nazri Aziz, the minister in the PM’s office who is widely regarded as his spokesman, to publicly point out that there was breach of trust in a government loan extended to the NFC cattle project, no action has been taken against Shahrizat’s family.

…more
Holy cow: What hold does Shahrizat have on Najib that he dares not to sack her?
17 February 2012 – Malaysia Chronicle

25
Feb
12

Cows and condos scandal highlights Malaysia’s faded reforms

(Reuters) – A scandal centred on cows and luxury condos raises the chances that Malaysian elections will be delayed and highlights Prime Minister Najib Razak’s stuttering efforts to reform the corruption-prone Southeast Asian nation.

“Cowgate,” as it has inevitably been dubbed, is providing rich fodder for the opposition as it digs up dirt on a publicly funded cattle-rearing project that it says was used as a personal fund for the family of one of Najib’s ministers.

It is not the first corruption scandal to hit Najib and his long-ruling United Malays National Organization (UMNO), but the farmyard connection makes it a potentially damaging one because rural Malays – the bedrock of UMNO’s support – may relate to it more easily than to more obscure financial matters.

“The cow issue is God-given,” Zuraida Kamaruddin, the head of the women’s wing of the opposition People’s Justice Party, told Reuters following a speech at a recent rally, which she punctuated with the occasional “moo” for comic effect.

“This time we have real evidence that proves their mismanagement.”

The family of Women, Families and Communities Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil is accused of using 250 million ringgit ($83 million) in soft government loans meant to develop the cattle project to buy luxury apartments, expensive overseas trips and a Mercedes.

Meanwhile, the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) project was found by the auditor-general to have done little to reach its initial goal of making the country 40 percent self-sufficient in beef production by 2010.

Najib last month froze the assets of the NFC, which is under investigation by Malaysia’s anti-corruption commission. With fresh allegations appearing almost daily on the country’s lively Internet news sites, the scandal adds to growing temptations for him to delay elections that must be called by April 2013.

The 58-year-old son of a former prime minister had been expected to call the polls around April, before a looming global slowdown risked hurting Malaysia’s trade-dependent economy.

But with the U.S. economy showing signs of recovery and the euro zone not yet imploding, he may feel he can wait and hope for the scandal to blow over while recent government handouts to poorer families take effect.

…more
Cows and condos scandal highlights Malaysia’s faded reforms
Feb 14, 2012 – Reuters

09
Feb
12

Shahrizat is Najib’s millstone

There was one serious flaw in the success story of Malaya: The emergent Malaysia bred generations of Malay politicians who, when caught with their hands in the public kitty, will do anything to hang on to power.

They continue nonchalantly because they are confident their peers will play along with the charade.

They delight in “proving their innocence” by swearing on the Koran. Some think that by seeking absolution from God, by going on umrahs, they are able to convince the god-fearing public, that the pilgrimage is a testament of their innocence.

The National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal hangs like a millstone around the neck of the Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (right).

Acting like a wounded animal, she has chosen to belittle Islam, and cast doubt on the intelligence of Malaysians. She has even striven to involve Wanita Umno.

On her return from the umrah, Shahrizat said: “Why have I went [sic] to Mecca three times in two-and-a-half months? Because I’m God-fearing, I ask for guidance from Allah.”

Instead of inviting understanding and compassion, Shahrizat only increased our contempt of her. How can Shahrizat spend so much time away from work? What is her ministry’s Key Performance Index? How can she waste so much of the taxpayers’ money on three trips to Saudi Arabia, in as many months?

Are we to infer that holy visits are a proof of innocence? In times of austerity, how did she stretch her ministerial wage?

Perhaps, the opposition should table a parliamentary motion for all ministers to declare their expenses, and NOT just their assets.

The fault is not her’s entirely. The whole award system lacks transparency. The MACC and the police drag their feet on investigations. The prime minister only pretends to act like one.

The RM250 million of misappropriated public funds swirl around the NFC, whose chairman Mohamed Salleh Ismail is Shahrizat’s husband.

Money not disbursed to satellite ranchers

Their children are also implicated and it is alleged that they have business dealings with other ministerial children.

The Auditor-General, Ambrin Buang, has stated that the audit was not on the NFC, as a whole, and that it established that the NFC had failed to meet its target.

The audit was merely to ascertain why money was not disbursed to the satellite ranchers despite being channelled to the ministry/NFC.

…more
Shahrizat is Najib’s millstone
Mariam Mokhtar
Feb 6, 2012 – Malaysiakini

07
Feb
12

Prove non-involvement in NFCorp, Rafizi tells Shahrizat

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 6 — PKR’s Rafizi Ramli today demanded Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil prove she was not involved with the National Feedlot Corporation’s (NFCorp) operations, saying it was a matter of utmost public interest.

The PKR chief strategist charged that the Wanita Umno chief had not once refuted PKR’s allegations with concrete proof, and that her response so far had merely been “jokes” and jibes aimed at her detractors.

Rafizi (picture) was referring to Shahrizat’s latest comments on the issue yesterday, where she said she will send the Wanita Umno wing’s trademark red-and-white baju kurung to her “stalker” in PKR, whom she joked wanted to assume her post.

In an apparent reference to Rafizi, who has led PKR’s attacks on Shahrizat and the NFCorp, the federal minister said the idea had been mooted by Perak Wanita Umno at a recent meeting.

“She has not provided proof that she was not at all involved in the decision making that awarded the contract to become integrator to her family’s company, nor has she proven that she was not at all involved with the operations of NFC,” Rafizi said in a statement to The Malaysian Insider.

The PKR leader said that Shahrizat would be “guilty by association” if she was aware that federal funds meant for the cattle project were used for “other purposes” and did not the matter to the relevant ministry.

“If our scrutiny of her conduct she deems as a personal attack against her or Wanita Umno, clearly she does not understand the weight of accountability that she assumes as a senior minister.

“I will continue to dig for evidence of misappropriation and her complicity in such misappropriation no matter how many baju kurungs she wants to send me, because no prior scandal involving a minister’s complicity in a financial misconduct receives such interest from the public,” added Rafizi.

…more
Prove non-involvement in NFCorp, Rafizi tells Shahrizat
February 06, 2012 – MI

02
Feb
12

No personal guarantee in loan to NFCorp, says PAC insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 — There was no personal guarantee involved in the RM250 million government loan to the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp), giving rise to the question who is accountable to repay if the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) project fails, a member of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has confirmed.

This comes amid NFCorp’s recent remarks made on January 27, where its management said that the government loan must be repaid else “we will be declared bankrupt or locked up in jail”.

“There was no personal guarantee involved, that’s what we were told. It was a soft loan given to the company.

“As far as we are aware, nobody is held accountable,” a PAC source told The Malaysian Insider.

“There were no proper guidelines drawn in the beginning as to how the money was to be used… that is why it is now difficult to establish any instances of monetary abuse,” the source added.

NFCorp executive director Wan Shahinur Izmir Salleh had said on Friday that “stories saying we are getting free money are unreasonable.”

“RM250 million is a big amount. If we play around without direction, my children’s future will be destroyed. For centuries, we will be saddled with debt,” he said, looking uncomfortable in front of attendees and reporters who had waited for two hours for him to arrive.

Pua said the issue of a personal guarantee involving the loan was not mentioned during any PAC meeting. — File pic
“The loan agreement has been signed. If we don’t pay back, we will be declared bankrupt or locked up in jail. We will pay every sen plus interest. The question of misappropriation does not arise,” said Wan Shahinur Izmir, who is minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s son.

PAC member Tony Pua told The Malaysian Insider that the issue of a personal guarantee involving the loan was not mentioned during any PAC meeting, and that many documents — financial statements and loan agreements — have yet to be presented to the PAC.

“I don’t remember anyone asking about personal guarantee. I don’t think these loans will involve personal guarantee though,” the DAP national publicity secretary said.

Another PAC member, PKR’s Datuk Kamarul Baharin Abbas, echoed Pua’s remarks, saying that “as far as I know there were no personal guarantees.”

He also said the PAC had yet to receive documents on the loan for the cattle-farming project from NFCorp.

…more
No personal guarantee in loan to NFCorp, says PAC insider
January 30, 2012 – MI

01
Feb
12

PKR gives MACC two weeks to act against NFC head

PKR has given the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) two weeks to arrest and charge National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) chairperson Mohamad Salleh Ismail over a bribery allegation.

Failing this, the opposition party has threatened to pressure the government to set up a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into the possibility that the MACC is protecting NFC.

Yesterday, PKR had revealed a police report in which businessman Shamsubahrin Ismail (left) had claimed to have been pressured to pay bribes to put the police off investigations into scandals involving the NFC.

While Shamsubahrin has named Salleh as having instigated this, the latter has dismissed the claim.

Taking this further, PKR Subang MP R Sivarasa and Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin lodged a report today at the Kuala Lumpur MACC office.

Their report is based on claims by businessman Shamsubahrin Ismail that Salleh had asked him to bribe the police as inducement to call off the on-going probe into the NFC.

Zuraida said the MACC, which had arrested Shamsubahrin on Dec 22 last year, has been holding his mobile phone in which text-messages from Salleh are stored.

She therefore questioned the MACC’s failure to act against Salleh up to now.

PKR, she added, will next lodge a report at the MACC headquarters n Putrajaya.

…more
PKR gives MACC two weeks to act against NFC head
Jan 31, 2012 – Malaysiakini

01
Feb
12

Whitewashing the NFC debacle

Since PKR leaders Rafizi Ramli and Zuraida Kamaruddin blew the lid off the RM250mil NFC debacle with their well-timed series of expose’ and revelations of greed, corruption and sheer financial imbecility, the scandal has morphed from being a mess into a quagmire for UMNO.

Make no mistake, the UMNO elite are watching this case a very wary eye because NFC is also the gateway to UMNO’s Pandora box. If not careful, it can provide arch rival Anwar Ibrahim’s Pakatan Rakyat coalition with a weapon of mass destruction for the 13th general election.

But scream and shout it may, UMNO has no one to blame but itself, its own greed and its own infighting for this very critical situation. What a blunder of fireworks for a grand finale of destruction for UMNO!

Even Houdini or David Copperfield could never make NFC and the spectre of the Shahrizat clan, their cows, condos and Super-class Mercedes Benz disappear from the people’s minds! Sad to say, the two magicians could never make the whole RM250mil government soft loan reappear for the people either!

‘Safest’ solution

Firstly, the UMNO elite have not been able to resolve the debacle amicably as they have been able to with past cases. Why? Two main reasons – the 13th general election and UMNO’s own internal polls later this year. Yes, instead of compromising and helping to cover up for each other, different factions are using the NFC debacle as leverage to defeat each other.

The ‘final’ decision – for now that is – is to whitewash the debacle. In other words, let Shahrizat and family squirm away, while Raja Nong Chik – blamed for instigating the scandal because he allegedly coveted Shahrizat’s Lembah Pantai parliamentary seat – may have to wait a while more to get his wish. This is deemed the ‘safest’ solution – again, for now that is!

The whitewash ordered by the UMNO elite is actually what Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin had initially planned – which is to deny all wrongdoing and to distance themselves from the debacle. Of course, they would lose credibility and the confidence of everyone. But for the disgraceful UMNO, this is not, and will not be the last time.

So regardless of how flimsy is the explanation, how obvious the lies they produce, Khairy and the NFC other stars including Prime Minister Najib Razak, DPM Muhyiddin Yassin, Agriculture minister Noh Omar will just brazen it out – like the Shahrizats. Anyone who asks will be told that everything is alright and there is nothing to be concerned about.

Obviously, Shahrizat – the Wanita chief – too likes the ‘whitewash’ option. She had been alarmed when former premier Mahathir Mohamad told her to quit before she was chased out of the party. But of course, Khairy will win her everlasting gratitude for taking her side and trying to clarify and justify the alleged wrongdoings. Even so, will the latest plan work?

…more
Unable to get the warlords to compromise, Umno decides to whitewash the NFC debacle
Nawawi Mohamad
January 27, 2012 – Hornbill Unleased

31
Jan
12

Shamsubahrin: NFC chief pressured me to bribe police

Businessman Shamsubahrin Ismail, who has been charged with cheating National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) executive chairperson Mohamed Salleh Ismail, has claimed that the latter pressured him to bribe the police to cover up the company’s scandal.

He made this claim in a police report lodged at the Klang General Hospital last Friday, which was revealed by PKR at its headquarters in Petaling Jaya today.

The police report reads: “In my appointment, I received messages and pressure from Salleh asking me to cover up the NFC case with the police.

“Salleh, through phone calls and SMSes, pressured me to pay bribes to the police to cover up the case.”

In the report, Shamsubahrin claimed that he was appointed by NFC as a corporate advisor and consultant to “clean up” NFC’s internal problems.

He added that he had met with the police to facilitate their investigation but had told Salleh he would not give bribes.

NFC is accused of misappropriating a RM250 million government soft loan by allegedly spending it on luxurious assets instead of the cattle centre in Gemas, which it had been tasked to manage.

‘MACC not acting on evidence’

Asked if PKR possessed the SMS evidence, its vice president Surendran said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is in possession of the phone containing the messages.

“Several phones were taken from Shamsubahrin and all the phones were later returned except for one. That one held by the MACC is the one containing all this crucial matter.

“It is in the hands of the authority but we have records, we have a backup of it,” he said.

Surendran also questioned the MACC, saying that despite possessing the information, it had failed to act against the “real culprits”.

Shamsubahrin was on Dec 30, last year, charged with cheating Salleh of RM2million in consultation fees.

Surendran, together with PKR legal bureau chief Latheefa Koya, are lawyers for Shamsubahrin, said after he managed to raise enough money to post the RM300,000 bail on Jan 19, was immediately re-arrested and slapped with another two cheating charges.

The two charges were brought against him on the same day he lodged the police report. He was at that time warded in hospital for health complications.

He is now in Sungai Buloh prison and has refused to post bail for the second time for fear of being slapped with more charges, said Surendran.

“He is not ready to come out because he fears for his safety, ironically and strangely he feels safer in Sungai Buloh,” said Latheefa.

…more
Shamsubahrin: NFC chief pressured me to bribe police
Jan 30, 2012 – Malaysiakini





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