Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Modday, 30th January 2012:
Azmi Khalid’s PAC Chairmanship will be remembered for his refusal to allow PAC to investigate the RM330 million NFC/NFCorp “cattle condo” scandal
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will be one of the casualties of the RM330 million National Feedlot Centre (NFC)/National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) “cattle condo” scandal with Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid’s PAC Chairmanship remembered for his refusal to allow the PAC to investigate the scandal.
The Malaysian Insider report today quoting PAC members that there was no personal guarantee involved in the RM250 million government loan to NFCorp, giving rise to the question who is accountable to repay if the NFC project fails, has raised anew the issue why Azmi as PAC Chairman is single-handedly blocking the PAC from probing further into the “cattle condo” scandal highlighted after the Auditor-General’s Report 2010.
Azmi should reconsider his refusal to even convene a meeting of PAC to let the PAC members decide whether to proceed to conduct investigations into the “cattle condo” scandal or to suspend all PAC probes pending the outcome of police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigations – when PAC members well know that the Malaysian public have little confidence that much would come out of police and MACC investigations.
In fact, as a member of the Tun Abdullah Cabinet which approved controversial NFC project in 2006, Azmi should not take part in any PAC discussion and decision whether PAC should investigate the “cattle condo” scandal – although Azmi claimed he could not remember whether the Cabinet during his time had discussed the project.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s three-week Cabinet leave for the MACC to investigate whether she is involved in the “cattle condo” scandal will end this Friday, Feb. 3.
Will Shahrizat return to the Cabinet “cleared by the MACC” for involvement in the scandal or will she ask for a further extension of her leave from Cabinet until she could be fully and definitively cleared by the MACC?
NFCorp executive director Wan Shahinur Izmir Salleh said on Friday that “stories saying we are getting free money are unreasonable.”
He said: “RM250 million is a big amount. If we play around without direction, my children’s future will be destroyed. For centuries, we will be saddled with debt.”
Malaysians are not worried about “centuries” but here and now, and whether Minister without Portfolio in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Idris Jala’s prediction that Malaysia could go bankrupt in 2009 could come through with such financial abuses and indiscipline as the RM330 million “cattle condo” scandal.
It is significant that after being dragged over the coals for over three months, Shahrizat’s family members who run the NFCorp had failed to clear themselves of the many allegations of abuse of power and misuse of public funds which have been made against them despite several attempts on their part to meet up with “friendly” bloggers and NGOs.
For instance, although there have been denials that Shahrizat’s husband and three children draw RM215,000 a month as salaries from NFCorp - husband Dr. Mohammad Salleh Ismail drawing RM100,000 salary monthly as NFCorp Chairman, 31-year-old Izmir drawing RM45,000 monthly as executive director, another son Wan Shahinur Izran aged 27 drawing RM35,000 a month as CEO while 25-year-old daughter Wan Izzanah Fatimah drawing RM35,000 a month as the other director – Shahrizat’s family members have not come out with their own actual salary figures.
What is the reason for this shocking failure of Shahrizat and her family to clear their name in the court of public opinion?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor