In 2011, we were told that Shahrizat’s husband, Mohamad Salleh Ismail, was the executive chairman of the NFC, whilst three children, Izran, Izmir, and Izzana, were chief executive and executive directors.
Newspaper reports stated that Shahrizat’s husband and children had allegedly swindled RM250 million of taxpayer’s money and bought a string of luxury condominiums, a car, overseas holidays, pilgrimage trips and more.
Former deputy PM, Muhyiddin Yassin was the Agriculture Minister when the NFC project was approved. He claimed to have found “nothing unusual” about the controversial project.
There is “nothing unusual” when Umno-Baru cronies misuse public funds for their own ends. (Muhyiddin has fallen from grace, and is no longer in Umno-Baru but is a member of the Opposition.)
At the time, Muhyiddin deflected criticism by redirecting questions to the erstwhile Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister, Noh Omar.
Noh was cowed by the burden of having to massage the truth, so he informed Parliament, that the NFC project was a success and had achieved its target of producing 8,000 head of cattle by 2010. Perhaps he was suffering from foot and mouth disease.
The Auditor-General had already released his report (October 2011) which criticised the NFC project for being “in a mess” and for failing in its objective.
The Menteri Besar of Negri Sembilan had to recover 3,000 of the 5,000 acres allocated for the NFC. This meant that the project must have been a total disaster.
The ‘udder’ failure of Najib’s administration to instill public confidence is possibly because it has not ‘herd’ about responsibility or accountability.
With our long list of political scandals, the MACC should have had ample experience ruminating over the ease with which BN politicians treat the treasury as their personal cash cow. Not so. MACC is still chewing the cud.
Perhaps, MACC staff suffer from milk fever.
We can moo till the cows come home, because no one has accepted responsibility for this scandal.
Shahrizat’s NFC debacle is not the first, nor last, misuse of the public purse. The taxpayer is owed billions of ringgits, but Shahrizat’s case is probably the tip of the iceberg and the amount her husband allegedly misappropriated is chicken feed.
Most of us would balk at stealing, but Umno-Baru ministers and their cronies act like pigs with their noses constantly in the trough.
Initially, Shahrizat claimed that she knew nothing about the NFC.
When asked if she was a casualty of the NFC scandal, she replied: “I want to say one thing very clearly, that I really have nothing to do with NFC.
“But as a responsible member of the government, I feel the right thing for me to do is for me to step down graciously”.
Why step down, if she claims to have nothing to do with the NFC scandal? Isn’t this an admission of guilt?
More cow tales, followed by BS
Shahrizat also said that in her house, she did not know the activities of her husband or children.
Only a blind, deaf and dumb spouse is clueless about their other half’s movements. Also, most good mothers know their children’s whereabouts.
The rakyat was furious, as were the farmers who should have received the money, to start their satellite ranches. When their livelihood was affected, they suffered.
Shahrizat clung onto her position, until the Umno-Baru hierarchy decided to turn her into a sacrificial lamb, to save Umno-Baru and the government.
Some BN politicians praised Shahrizat for relinquishing her ministerial post. They should do much soul-searching and clarify Shahrizat’s “major sacrifice”.
Where are the cows? Where is the money?
In October 2016, Rafizi was ordered to pay damages and costs related to NFC’s defamation suit against him. Rafizi appealed for public donations to help him settle the RM300,000, and the Malaysian public responded, with a whopping RM1.5 million, in 10 days.
Today, we would still like to know what has happened to the RM250 million.
Will the money and interest be returned?
Will the rakyat see justice?
Shouldn’t someone go to jail?