Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 15th January 2012:
Call for independent public inquiry into RM300 million National Feedlot Corporation scandal
The freeze of the assets of the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) pending investigations by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Police is not adequate and does not inspire confidence that this is a prelude to a no-holds-barred full inquiry into the RM300 million NFC scandal.
Announcing the freeze on NFC assets yesterday, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said he had discussed with the Minister for Women, Family and Community Development Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil the decision to take three weeks leave from her ministerial duties, adding:
“I’ve discussed with her the decision to take leave. It is an appropriate decision as it allows the authority to carry out a thorough investigation.
“Datuk Seri Shahrizat said she was willing to be investigated fully. What happens after this will depend on the outcome of the investigation.”
Nobody expects Shahrizat to return to the Cabinet or Parliament after the expiry of her three-week leave expiring on Feb. 3, 2012.
But what is significant and ominous in Najib’s statement is the implication that before she was finally pressured to “voluntarily” go on three-weeks leave on January 12, she had successfully resisted any “full investigation” into her role in the RM300 million NFC scandal.
The question was how she could successfully resist a “full investigation” into her role in the NFC scandal for more than eleven weeks since release of the Auditor-General’s Report 2010 on the “Beef Valley” scandal in the last week of October 2010, followed by a series of revelations of the misuse of the NFC funds turning it into a “Cattle Condo” scandal.
Long after she has left the political scene, two of the most unforgettable images of Shahrizat in the RM300 million NFC scandal causing permanent image problem to UMNO will be her defiant “rolling up her sleeve” gesture at the recent UMNO Wanita General Assembly declaring her “innocence” and her subsequent rhetoric question: “Tell me, which UMNO leader does not have problem?”
Najib said he had asked the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar to look into NFC’s future directions and to find the best solution for the centre.
This is totally unacceptable as Muhyiddin and Nor Omar are among the Ministers, one being Agriculture Minister at the time of the approval of the RM300 million NFC project and the latter as the current Minister in charge of the project, who owe the Malaysian public a fully accounting of why they had allowed the NFC scandal to reach such a disgraceful proportion under their charge.
What the country needs is an independent, no-holds-barred public inquiry into the RM300 million National Feedlot Corporation scandal, in particular the role of all implicated Ministers and leaders, including Muhyiddin and Noh Omar as former and current Agriculture Minister and Shahrizat, and other UMNO political leaders still unknown.
Is Najib prepared to announce such a public inquiry or even to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry fully assisted by the police and the MACC into the NFC scandal, declassifying all Cabinet and official documents for such an inquiry?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh TimorTimor