KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition PKR affronted by Umno women’s wing chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s lashings against its party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has comeback with more muck on the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) scandal.
This time PKR has questioned the ownership and expenses involving Shahrizat’s RM534,000 Mercedes Benz and two lots of land in Putrajaya worth RM3 million.
PKR strategic director, Rafizi Ramli who disclosed these details to reporters in parliament today said he was also seeking for Shahrizat to clarify monthly payments to a travel agency which ranged from RM1,000 to RM120,000.
“We were anticipating her response and hoped that she would be more humble but since that was not the case, we decided to add more misappropriations”, said Rafizi alluding to to Shahrizat’s tit-for-tat response to allegations of misappropriations of public funds by her family involving NFC.
This morning Shahrizat told Umno Wanita delegates that if she had to resign because of her husband, Wan Azizah should resign for Anwar’s misdeeds.
Shahrizat has maintained that her husband is innocent of any misdeeds unlike Anwar who was found guilty of sodomy charges.
Shahrizat, also the women, family, community development minister, was commenting on PKR women wing’s chief Zuraida Kamaruddin’s call, last week, for her to resign.
Shahrizat’s husband Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail is the NFC chairman. Shahrizat’s family has been accused of misusing a RM250 million government soft loan given for the NFC project.
The NFC was first highlighted as a failure by the Auditor General’s Report late last month.
PKR subsequently revealed that the centre had purchased two luxury condominium units in Bangsar and that the executive director and a fellow director had performed umrah using the company’s finances. The directors are Shahrizat’s husband and son. Shahrizat maintained her husband’s innocence in the controversy.
Money from subsidiary company
Rafizi in a press conference today said that the luxury car and the two plots of land were purchased from money transferred to the National Meat Livestocks Corporation Sdn Bhd (NMLC)’s account. NMLC is a subsidiary company which is owned by Shahrizat’s family.
Rafizi said that on Dec 9, 2009, Shahrizat’s family had purchased a Mercedes Benz CLS 350 CGI worth almost RM534,000. He claimed that the money came directly from the RM250 million soft loan allocated for the NFC program.
He also claimed that the maintenance for the car came up to almost RM20,000, which was also allegedly taken directly from the NFC bank account.
When asked if Rafizi was sure that Shahrizat’s family actually owned the said luxury vehicle, Rafizi answered in the affirmative. He added: “I am sure the cattle farmers in Gemas will not drive such a luxurious car. I am sure that the directors use the car and the directors are her family members”.
Rafizi also said that the two plots of land were purchased in Precinct 10 in Putrajaya at the price of RM3,363,507.
“I am sure the land was not bought to bred cattle… I don’t know how you can bred them in Putrajaya,” he said.
Rafizi also sought clarification over monthly transfers of funds worth RM455,423 over a span of seven months to a travel agency.
He said that 15 cheques issued from NFC’s CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad account showed that the money was transferred to Impian Global Network Services (IGNS) which offered holiday packages to Phuket, Kuching, Bandung and others.
“We have previously revealed that RM800,000 was allocated as entertainment allowances for the directors (which also includes overseas trips). But they said that the trips may be related to cattle business.
“But why is there a need for a cattle business to have such monthly expenditure to a travel agency? Who is (doing the) traveling,” asked Rafizi.
Questions over the tender process
He also raised doubts over the half million ringgit transferred to Meatworks (Singapore) Pte Ltd in July 2010. Meatworks is a company owned by one of Shahrizat’s children.
“As (Umno Youth chief) Khairy Jamaluddin had said earlier (in defending Shahrizat) that one cannot export raw meat to Singapore as it is not allowed by the country’s law, then why was RM588,585 transferred to Meatworks account,” he asked.
He added: “I have just highlighted one such transaction. I am too tired to highlight the many more transactions to Meatworks”.
He said that Shahrizat must now explain each and every of the allegations made against her to the public, or at least to the Umno delegates.
“If she is really responsible, then she wouldn’t drag Umno and its women’s wing into the fray which is essentially a private scandal,” he said.
He said that the NFC was the brainchild of an undisclosed bumiputera entrepreneur way back in 2003.
“The company had approached Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry, Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi) and Negeri Sembilan state government,
“The initial plans did not require any funds from the government but only required loans from the government. The company merely requested the state government to lease a land in the Gemas farm,” he said.
However he said that company was overlooked – and was not even invited to put in a tender, – and the project was given to Shahrizat’s family.