The National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd’s (NFC) chairman, Mohamad Salleh Ismail is furious with Putrajaya for taking out a lawsuit against him and his three children, in its attempt to recover the RM253.6 million owed by the NFC.
Mohamad Salleh claimed that the NFC had offered to repay the loan in full, and therefore he questioned the action of the Attorney-General. He said that the company was in the midst of redeveloping and restructuring.
Mohamad Salleh is the husband of the former, disgraced Minister for Women, Family and Community Development, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil. Their three children are the former NFC CEO, Wan Shahinur Izran and directors Wan Shahinur Izmir and Wan Izzana Fatimah Zabedah.
The NFC chairman was wasteful and abused the rakyat’s money
Shahrizat’s husband and children were in charge of the NFC project, which was launched in 2007, to assist local cattle farmers to provide at least 40% of the beef consumed in Malaysia, and to reduce our dependence on imported beef.
News reports in March 2010 said that NFC’s target of 40% had to be delayed by five years, to 2015. More bad news was to follow when, in October 2011, the Jabatan Audit Negara released its delayed Auditor-General’s report, which detailed wasteful government spending, and one area of this waste was the NFC. Its objectives had not been achieved
It was proposed that 130 entrepreneurs, would operate satellite farms in the Entrepreneur Development Programme, but the target was not reached and to make things worse, it was also revealed the main operator had withdrawn from the project, in 2008. Only 3,289 head of cattle had been produced, instead of the target of 8,000. The auditor-general also said the project was “in a mess”.
In November 2011, the then Opposition exposed more financial irregularities in the NFC. It had given out loans amounting to over RM84 million to companies owned by Shahrizat. It had also channelled funds for the purchase of 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, a Mercedes Benz CLS 350 CGI for RM534,622 and transferred 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.
Eight years later, the money has still not been repaid to the rakyat. Is it any wonder that Putrajaya has decided to sue the NFC chairman, its former CEO and directors, and six companies associated with the family, like the National Meat & Livestock Corp Sdn Bhd, Real Food Co Sdn Bhd, Meatworks Corp Sdn Bhd, Agroscience Industries Sdn Bhd, Asian Bioscience Corp Sdn Bhd and Techknowlogy Imageware (M) Sdn Bhd.
Just saying he will pay up does not mean the end of the matter
Mohamad Salleh claimed that he received no reply to the letter he sent to the Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng, on 17 May, about his proposed repayment scheme. He also claimed that his discussions with the Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Ministry had been favourable.
The NFC chairman is disingenuous to think that the rakyat will be satisfied with his response. He cannot imagine that the matter can be settled, by claiming that the NFC had already agreed to repay the money it owes the taxpayer.
Why did it take him several months to write to the Finance Minister, with details of the repayment scheme? He appears to be dragging his feet over the repayment of the money.
As far as the rakyat is concerned, the government has not received the money owed by the NFC. Mohamad Salleh and his children, should be charged, as they have misused the loans by purchasing luxury items. They breached the loan conditions. Why should they be exonerated, for replaying the money?
Others may be encouraged to commit similar wrongdoings, if an example is not made of this family for its misuse of public funds. Their current punishment is like a light rap on the wrist.
The government of the “New Malaysia” must not only bare its fangs, but must be prepared to bite.
A time limit should be imposed for the repayment of the loans, in full with interest. Furthermore, the directors of this group of companies should be charged with criminal breach of trust.