Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 10th February 2012:
Azmi should step down as PAC Chairman
My statement on January 24 calling on Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid to resign as Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman if he is not prepared to convene an emergency PAC meeting to investigate into the RM330 million National Feedlot Centre/National Feedlot Corporation (NFC/NFCorp) “cattle condo” scandal so as to be able to report to Parliament next month has been vindcated by none other than the NFCorp chief executive officer Wan Shahinur Izmir Salleh.
Wan Shahinur Izran came out with a most shocking assertion yesterday when he said in a statement:
“The issue of NFC managing its loan monies amounting to RM250 million is the company’s responsibility to administer and utilise. NFC retains the prerogative to invest the funds in the best interests of the company.”
Can this shocking claim be true, that NFCorp has been given a completely blank cheque to do what it likes with the RM250 million loan from the Finance Ministry although completely unrelated to the “high impact” NFC economic project to promote beef self-sufficiency in the country?
If true, then the “political masters” responsible for this decision at the relevant time, whether Tun Abdullah, who was the Prime Minister when the project and loan was approved, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on “High Impact Projects” or Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin the Minister for Agriculture and Agro-Based Industries should be hauled up before the PAC for the whole truth to be told.
If untrue, it is the responsibility of PAC to get to the bottom of the matter and report to Parliament when it reconvenes on March 12.
An emergency meeting of PAC is all the more imperative now as PAC member and MP for PJ Utara, Tony Pua in his statement today said PAC at its meeting in November had been told by the Finance Ministry that there was no provision that permits the NFCorp to use its federal loan to purchase property.
As a senior Ministry of Finance official had been “very specific” informing the PAC that the NFC loan could not be used for purposes other than what had been specified, that the purpose of each drawdown must be clearly stated and that the ministry had never received an application from NFCorp to purchase property, PAC must be convened to have sight and verify of the RM250 million loan agreement and the relevant documentation so as to be able to submit an accurate and satisfactory report on the issue to Parliament by March 12.
Azmi should decide whether he is going to discharge his duty as PAC Chairman to conduct a proper investigation into the RM330 million “cattle condo” scandal so that a PAC report on the issue could be presented to all MPs to assist in the parliamentary debate on the matter, or whether he would step down as PAC Chairman to allow the PAC Deputy Chairman, Dr. Tan Seng Giaw (MP for Kepong) to carry on the investigations affecting the Minister for Women, Family and Community Development, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and her family without any impediment.
There may be reasons why Wan Shahinur Ismir is to courageous in claiming that it is the “prerogative” of NFCorp to “invest the funds in the best interests of the company” to the extent that NFCorp posted this claim on my twitter last night – the first day NFCorp went on an “offensive” on the social media.
I had responded on my twitter to NFCorp last night with Five Questions on the RM330 million “cattle condo” scandal, viz:
I believe all Malaysians, and not just myself, are waiting for answers from NFCorp to these five questions on the “cattle condo” scandal.
If the NFCorp continuse to evade these five questions, then let the PAC provide some answers when Parliament reconvenes on March 12.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor