Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, 21st November 2011:
Let Muhyiddin explain to PAC why the RM300 million NFC project he approved in 2006 has become such a mess and scandal
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyidddin Yassin is the current Cabinet Minister most responsible for the RM300 million National Feedlot Centre (NFC) project, as he approved it in 2006 as the then Agriculture Minister.
Muhyiddin should appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)on Wednesday when it examines the issue to explain why the cattle production project has become such a mess and scandal, beyond the worst fears of the Auditor-General's Report 2010 as it is snowballing everyday to expose layer after layer of scandalous transactions.
The Auditor-General Report 2010 on the continuing horror stories about misappropriation and waste of public funds, criminal breach of trust, negligence and gross abuses of power is a damning indictment on the first full-year Najib premiership demonstrating that nothing has really changed despite grandiloquent sloganeering of “1Malaysia, People’s First, Performance Now” in terms of government efficiency, effectiveness, accountability, transparency and integrity.
However, it is an even greater indictment on the Deputy Prime Minister as it exposes his personal and direct Ministerial responsibility for the RM300 million National Feedlot Centre (NFC) and National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) scandals as it was during his tenure as Agriculture Minister that the troubled and controversial project was approved.
Who else apart from Muhyiddin should bear the full and final responsibility for the NFC “mess” where the objective of the project on cattle production to boost the nation's beef self-sufficiency could go so wrong as NFC not only failed to meet this target, the RM250 million 2%-interest soft loan had been diverted not only to buy two luxury condominiums in Bangsar but also for other dubious transactions as exposed by PKR Secretary-General and MP Saifuddin Nasution and PKR chief of strategy Rafizi Ramli.
NFCorp was awarded the NFC project on 27th October 2006 and the RM250 million 2%-interest soft loan for NFCorp was signed on 6th December 2007 – both falling within the period when Muhyiddin was the Agriculture Minister.
Undoubtedly, Muhyiddin is more responsible for the NFC scandal than the current Agriculture Minister, Datuk Noh Omar.
As Minister directly responsible for the NFC scandals, Muhyiddin should have explained in the past month of deepening controversy over the NFC scandal why government scrutiny, supervision and monitoring of the project and in particular the RM250 million soft loan was so lax or even non-existent as to allow such gross breach of trust and abuse of public funds to take place?
Instead, Muhyiddin kept a discreet silence, leaving to others like Noh Omar and the NFCorp executive chairman Datuk Seri Dr. Mohamad Salleh Ismail, the husband of Minister for Women, Family and Community Development, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, to do all the explaining.
But only Muhyiddin himself can explain his Ministerial lapses which have resulted in the RM300 million NFC project becoming such a mess and scandal today!
Let Muhyiddin appear before the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) to explain his sins of commission or omission as Agriculture Minister before the 2008 general elections resulting in the NFC scandals – and let him explain the extent of Cabinet involvement or approval for the NFC project.
There is one preliminary matter on conflict-of-interest which the PAC would have to address before it proceeds to deal with the NFC scandals: whether the PAC Chairman, Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid should excuse himself from the PAC examination of the NFC scandals, as Azmi was a Cabinet Minister in the operative time of the approval of the NFC project – making him to a party to any Cabinet decision on the NFC project.
Can Azmi categorically declare that he was not involved in any way in any Cabinet approval or discussion of the NFC project before he was dropped from the Cabinet after the March 2008 general election when he was not re-appointed to the Cabinet?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh TimorTimor