MACC Graft Probe on NFC: Just to clear Shahrizat


May 31, 2012

MACC’s Cow Sense–The Malaysian Insider

Here’s a question for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). Who accused Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil of being involved in the process of awarding the RM250 million government soft loan to the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) operated by her family?

Short answer, no one. Long answer, not one person ever did.

So, clearing the Wanita UMNO chief of any involvement in the scandal is not even news because she wasn’t accused of that. And if MACC and Shahrizat are crowing about this, they have as much cow sense as the cattle in the Gemas farm.

Let’s be clear why Shahrizat’s name has been dragged into this and the government had to drop her from the Cabinet by not extending her tenure as senator.

Her family is accused of abusing public funds meant for a cattle-rearing project for their own shopping spree of luxury properties in Malaysia and abroad. They had admitted as much, saying the funds were being put to some use while waiting for the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries to do its part of the deal.

Of course, it begs the question whether public funds meant for one project can be used in other ways while waiting for something else to happen. The short answer, no. The long answer, of course not.

MACC operations evaluation panel (PPO) chairman Tan Sri Dr Hadenan Abdul Jalil was stating the obvious today when he said that investigations into Shahrizat’s involvement in NFC were now closed.

“We have found she was not involved in the process of awarding the loan,” Hadenan told reporters at a press conference today.

“The decision to award the contract to the company and to award the loan does not involve her,” he added.

Malaysians are just outraged that a company with no experience in cattle farming got the money and instead of working on the project, it used the funds for something else. Because there are farmers out there in Malaysia who could use a bit of that money for their own cattle farms.

Because there are Malaysians out there who get their loan applications rejected even if it is not a government soft loan.

Because it looked like the financial records of the company showed Shahrizat’s family was living the high life from the company that was funded by public money. Perhaps she might have benefited? We don’t know. Because the MACC didn’t look into that.

They just investigated if she had a role in approving the loan. Why would she be involved? Was she in the particular ministry? Was she in the Treasury? Did the matter even come up at any Cabinet meeting where she attended?

Why is the MACC pulling wool over our eyes? Why are they even investigating this aspect which is not even a complaint from anyone?Why is the MACC spending public funds to get its officers to investigate a non-story?

Why do they have cow sense instead of common sense? What is the MACC supposed to do? Will they ever do it?

Today’s conclusion by the MACC just shows how little transformation has happened since the anti-graft agency was upgraded into a commission.They should have been a lot smarter than they revealed themselves to be today.Is there a wonder that people have little faith in the MACC?

__________________________

MACC Graft Probe on NFC: Just to  clear Shahrizat

by Clara Chooi@http://www.themalaysianinsider.com

“The way they investigated it is as if they were merely trying to find a reason to let Shahrizat go. What the MACC needs to prove is that there was no influence whatsoever from Shahrizat that allowed her family to get the contract although they had absolutely zero experience in cattle-farming.”–Rafizi Ramli

The Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) was accused today of whitewashing Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil’s National Feedlot Centre (NFC) graft investigation , with PKR’s Rafizi Ramli pointing out that he had not even been questioned by investigators despite being responsible for most of the allegations against the Minister and her family.

Rafizi, the man who led a relentless campaign to expose alleged misappropriation of public funds in the management of NFC, pointed out that he had been the one leading the series of exposes on the NFC since the RM250 million federally-funded cattle funding project hit media headlines late last year.

“Seeing as I was the one who exposed all these issues in the NFC, one has to wonder – why have I not been called in to see the MACC when I have been the loudest in this issue?” he told The Malaysian Insider when contacted this afternoon.

Rafizi said that to completely clear Shahrizat’s name, the MACC must now explain why the RM250 million project had been awarded to a company owned by the Wanita UMNO chief’s family members, even though it has zero experience in farming.

He said it was too simplistic to clear Shahrizat just because she had not been directly involved in awarding the contract, saying it was obvious that the former Minister would not have been “so stupid” to sit on the tender committee that decided on the award.

“The way they investigated it is as if they were merely trying to find a reason to let Shahrizat go.What the MACC needs to prove is that there was no influence whatsoever from Shahrizat that allowed her family to get the contract although they had absolutely zero experience in cattle-farming,” he said.

Earlier today, MACC Operations Evaluation Panel (PPO) chairman Tan Sri Datuk Hadenan Abdul Jalil (not related to Shahrizat) revealed that Shahrizat has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the RM250 million NFC scandal, which has been dominating media headlines for months since last year.

Hadenen told reporters the MACC has declared investigations into Shahrizat’s involvement closed after finding that the former Minister had not been directly involved in the process of awarding the loan to the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp), a company where her husband and children sit as directors.

“The decision to award the contract to the company and to award the loan does not involve her,” he had said.

With the MACC’s decision on Shahrizat, Rafizi said the onus was now on the agency to explain to the public its reason for not taking any further action against the tender committee that had selected the NFCorp to lead the federally-funded cattle farming project.

The committee, pointed out Rafizi, had been chaired by Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the time, and had included then Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is currently Deputy Prime Minister.

“There were six bidders for the project and of all, only one had some experience in farming. The NFCorp, was clearly only set up recently and was not fit to run the project,” he said.

“So the fact that the tender committee chaired by Najib went ahead to award the project to Shahrizat’s family clearly indicates an element of corruption… otherwise, it would be quite difficult to fathom why Najib and the committee was so stupid as to award the project of this magnitude to a company with no experience,” he added.

As such, said Rafizi, it was only “logical” to find the link between the committee and the company in question in order to determine if any corruption was involved in the contract award.

“And the only link between the selected company and Najib and Muhyiddin was Shahrizat,” he said.

Shahrizat, who is the wife of NFCorp chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail, had been linked to the scandal by PKR because of her husband’s position, and their three children’s directorships in the same firm.

The former Women, Family and Community Development Minister had been questioned by the graft watchdog earlier in February after returning to her ministerial duties.

She had earlier taken three weeks’ leave to allow authorities to investigate claims of abuse of power against both her and her family.

Shahrizat stepped down as Minister after her double-term as senator expired on April 8.

The RM250 million publicly-funded cattle-raising scheme was first coined a “mess” in an article in English daily The Star after it made it into the pages of the Attorney-General’s 2010 Report for failing to meet production targets.

The term was later repeated by other media organisations to describe NFCorp after PKR launched a series of exposés to show that the project’s funds had been allegedly abused.

The company’s assets were frozen after investigations were launched by the Police and the MACC following the revelations.

Shahrizat’s husband, Dr.Mohamed Salleh Ismail was charged with criminal breach of trust and violating the Companies Act in relation to RM49 million in federal funds given to NFCorp last March 12.

The 64-year-old was charged under Section 409 of the Penal Code relating to CBT for misappropriating RM9,758,140 from NFCorp’s funds to purchase two condominium units at the One Menerung complex in Bangsar for the National Meat and Livestock Corporation (NMLC) on December 1 and December 4, 2009.

He was also charged under the same section for transferring RM40 million of NFCorp’s funds to the NMLC between May 6 and November 16, 2009.

He was further charged in both cases for using the said funds without any approval from company’s annual general meeting, which is an offence under Section 132 of the Companies Act 1965. If found guilty, he faces between two and 20 years’ imprisonment, whipping, and a fine for the offences under the Penal Code.

Dr. Mohamad Salleh also faces a five-year jail term or RM30,000 fine for the charges proffered under the Companies Act.

He pleaded not guilty to the CBT charge as well as two counts under the Companies Act in the scandal that has opened Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Barisan Nasional (BN) government to damaging attacks ahead of elections that must be called by March next year.

20 thoughts on “MACC Graft Probe on NFC: Just to clear Shahrizat

  1. Remember the time when the arrogant and corrupt of a Minister that ass heavy Rafidah Aziz sat down through a meeting held to decide whether to grant her son-in-law with shares reserved for bumiputras? A story had to be fabricated that others present at the meeting had asked her not to leave the room. Duty is always strict and anybody in her position is required to leave the meeting so as not to give the appearance of bias and abuse.

  2. Her Chairman husband will most likely be slapped with fines for flouting the law regarding the duties of a director under the Companies Act. That is a slap on the wrist of someone who is part of a larger conspiracy.

    As for financial losses incurred, since when losing money on account of poor or bad judgment is a crime?

  3. Those in power write the rule book. As far as MACC is concerned, their SOP includes the rule that Ministers and their key cronies shall not be charged. So when a Minister is involved, the MACC is, therefore creative with the help of the Attorney-General in finding ways to let the Minister escape prosecution. But God help you, if you are in the Opposition, as Azmin Ali is about to find out.

    In Azmin’s case, old “evidence” mentioned in RPK’s web-paper is enough to start an investigation by the MACC,leading perhaps to prosecution under the MACC Act, not Penal Code, whereas in the case of UMNO-BN ministers and high powered cronies, the MACC requires new evidence, not something that happened 18 or so years ago.

    What is the message UMNO strategists are conveying to Azmin? I think, it is clear that they want Azmin to break ranks with Anwar, and abandon PKR and Pakatan Rakyat. Like his erstwhile rival in PKR, Ezam Noor, he can become a member of UMNO kleptocracy of good standing. See how UMNO protects Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

    If Azmin takes this option, he would be spared further embarrassment and emotional pain while at the same time he will be reunited with his family (Ummi Hafilda and his mother) and everything will be honky dory. The other option is to stay on, close ranks and fight (Lawan Tetap Lawan) and endure the political onslaught UMNO has chosen to pile on him. Which will it be? Ah, I am just speculating. But what do you think, Mr Bean, CLF, Frank, Isa Manteqi, Kathy et.al?–Din Merican

  4. I really don’t think there’s anything worth commenting on this hogwash and warp-speed of this ‘investigation’. Preordained balderdash which is predestined to shoot themselves in the groin.

    Sheer Stupidity and Irreverence to natural justice. Asinus asinum fricat (the jackass rubs the jackass)!

  5. This from freemalaysiatoday.com:

    PKR: Why the haste to investigate Azmin?
    Tarani Palani
    May 31, 2012

    PKR today said that the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission’s (MACC) decision to clear former minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and to re-open a file on party vice-president Azmin Ali revealed the graft agency’s ” true colours”.

    Rafizi Ramli, the party’s strategic director, said in a statement today that although Malaysians already anticipated that Shahrizat would be given the “all-clear”, the speed in which the anti-graft body re-opened a file against Azmin reflected MACC’s bias.

    The joint statement was also issued by party women’s wing chief, Zuraida Kamaruddin.

    He said that the biasness was obvious when MACC dilly-dallied in pursuing the NFC issue but was quick to take up Azmin, even when the latter had no strong evidence of corruption in it.

    “MACC’s task is not to be Barisan National’s pawn and to open files investigating top opposition leaders as general election approaches. It is MACC’s duty to answer the questions in cases of breach of trust such as the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp),” he said.

    Rafizi is one of the main persons who highlighted the project which is overseen by Shahrizat’s husband, Mohamed Salleh Abbas, and their three children.

    MACC operations review panel cleared Shahrizat of any involvement in awarding the project to the company which was headed by her husband.

    The panel also said that Shahrizat, the former Women, Family and Community Development Minister, did not play a role in awarding her husband’s company the RM250-million soft loan to facilitate the NFCorp project.

    The panel, however, said that it has re-opened Azmin’s case in the light of new evidence disclosed by blogger, Raja Petra Kamarudin, which included confidential information.

    New light was shed upon Azmin’s alleged corruption case in 1995-1997, following Raja Petra’s revelations early this week.

    A probe was conducted by the then Anti-Corruption Agency in 1997 over the matter.

    Its former director-general Shafee Yahaya said the probe had found Azmin to be in “deep debt” but maintained that it did not uncover “strong elements of corruption”.

    He instead recommended then deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim to take disciplinary action against Azmin. The latter served as Anwar’s private secretary at that time.

    ‘Act of corruption’

    Rafizi today maintained that the 1997 probe revealed no elements of corruption and did not require Azmin to be prosecuted.

    “These facts are clearly stated in his book ‘The Shafee Yahaya Story’ in pages 306, 326 and 356,” he said.

    Turning to NFCorp, he maintained that the government’s decision to award the project to a company which had no capacity to handle such a project was a corrupt act.

    “This is based on the general rule of procurement and tender of any agency; the act to award a tender to an incapable company is an act of corruption,” he said.

    He added that then High Impact Project chairman Najib Tun Razak should be investigated for acts of corruption for awarding the project to Shahrizat’s family.

    Rafizi said that there is also the personal ties between Sharizat and Najib which has to be taken into consideration.

    “We are sure that MACC did not even call Najib to testify even when he was the main witness to understand why NFC was given the tender,” he said.

    A puzzled Rafizi asked why both he and Zuraida were not called when they were the ones who made many allegations regarding the issue.

  6. What have they accomplished thus far? Headlines read : MACC had caused the deaths of two law abiding citizens under their custody.. One was a political appointed assistant just begining to start out in life , the other , a civil servant nearing retirement .. Both , mercilessly scrutinized over loose change.. There are/were also incidents of cases that involved entrapment where marked notes were deliberately used on unsuspecting victims.. A practice that is outlawed in most commonwealth nations.. All these dubious deeds mischeviously carried out to provide a purpotedly thorough analytical record on their performances and serves as statistics to be produced and deliberated in parliament on their achievements and how serious the MACC are in eradicating corruption.. Another story to hit the headlines worthy of mentioning was the persecution of Rosli Dahlan… Other than that , there is nothing worth highlighting…

  7. You have to give a lot of credit to Rafizi.

    A young guy with a potentially bright political future putting himself on the line and risking going to jail and being fined/convicted for this case. much “greater” figures have shown much less courage in standing up to the powers that be for principle. there are many old, retired, washed up UMNO leaders who come over to Pakatan Rakyat after making sure that they have a pension, retirement, large home and overseas bank accounts all secure. Rafizi has none of this. Yet he is crusading for justice and for the rule of law. I predict his struggles will be recorded in the history books of Malaysia.

    As for this nonsense investigation – don’t you think that at some point in the last 10 years an investigation of Azmin would have turned up something by now. Do you think the MACC was just accidentally sitting on this file and didnt know about it. Ooops. After trying 1000 times to convict Anwar and disrupt PKR they ALL OF A SUDDEN found this dossier.

    And RPK is so pleased with himself that deep throat came to HIM instead of to the NST? Please. RPK is even starting to lose credibility in the way that he orchestrates his exposes. He used to be more credible, more spontaneous and more shocking. Now he’s becoming more predictable. Yawn.
    __________
    Thanks, Rusman. We need young champions of change, people who are prepared to risk everything for ideals. Young Malaysians, however, are too comfortable with their hedonistic lifestyles. Old geezers like me, a septuagenarian, and men and women of my generation are willing and have not given up hope, but we need the stamina to carry on, which we no longer have as age has caught up with us. The spirit is strong but the body is weak. –Din Merican.

  8. I puked when I read MACC reacted to a 17-year-old case because RPK reported new evidence! I really puked! To think that I donated to RPK’s fund and even send messages of comfort and cards to his wife Marina and him when he was in Kamunting… Ptui!

  9. Isn’t this MACC operations evaluation panel (PPO) chairman Tan Sri Dr Hadenan Abdul Jalil the former Accountant-General at the Treasury. I never realised that he has become a willing stooge of UMNO to protect Shahrizat Abdul Jalil. Hadenan should relinquish his post at MACC and just disappear, the sooner the better.

    As for Abu Kassim, I think he should honour his pledge he made before an international audience that he would step down if he was not able to do his job properly. Well, what better time than now when it is clear that MACC under his watch has only cow sense and covers up nonsense.–Din Merican

  10. The MACC is pulling sheep over our eyes. The forms of the MACC are being used to undermine its substance.

  11. The MACC is pulling sheep over our eyes.–anon
    This is after putting cows in condos? What animal next? Tean and Tok Cik, pushing their Kerbau?
    _____________
    Semper, you need to be provoked before we hear from you, buddy. We need more inputs from our diaspora. Things are getting really bad around here. The government is not listening to us. –Din Merican

  12. PS The world has not changed for Malaysia. When I was in Vietnam in 1973 the International Controll Commission ICC was set up comprising representative from the Eastern Bloc and the Western Bloc in equal numbers to supervise the ceasefire. In one case the Western Bloc reported to the ICC that a certain important bridge was blown up by the North Vietnam aided Vietcong. They had all the evidence but the Eastern Bloc in the ICC said that the bridge collasped because of poor US engineering. As all reports were adopted only when there was a consensus the report went nowhere and to this day and no action has taken.

    Moral of the story. The rules of engagement must be clearly spelt out before we set up any more new Commissions.
    ___________
    Terms of Reference can be engineered to support a preconceived stance/outcome. I have less faith in commissions of any sort. Commissioners can also be chosen to serve a given outcome. For example, the UN Commission to verify that Sabah and Sarawak were in favour of joining Malaysia. Did Sarawakians and Sabahans support the concept? Most of them, in fact, never cared as long as they are okay with jobs and business–Din Merican.

  13. Dato Din,

    Najib is dancing the Limbo Rock “how low can you go”.Yes reading the news everyday things are really getting bad in Malaysia. However is there someone or some entity that can put a stop to all these trickery and treachery? It seems the whole government machinery under UMNO and BN is hell bent in having their way and citizens have no say.

    There are no check and balances anymore. UMNO and BN are neither scared nor deterred in carrying out their evil plans under the guise of governing. Where and when will all this end? Perhaps when all the money is gone and Malaysia becomes a beggar nation.

    It is very frustrating to read about Malaysia. It raises my blood pressure and cause me headache and ulcers. I guess that’s why Malaysians have high rates of hypertension amongst its populace. All these vent up pressure and no release. Guess only divine intervention can help Malaysia.

  14. aku berbangsa kaum Cina ( bukan pendatang) :
    once i visited a malay primary school in jalan tasik, Ipoh ; bell rang for recess at about 10am, ALL the malay students rushed to the canteen for food ( i was having coffee there ) ….i was watching a POOR boy with his hands inside the pockets, looking at his friends enjoying their food … i walked to the boy & gave him a ringgit to makan …he ran away & my tears flowed out …….sighs !
    .
    HEY, there are a lot of POOR people lah !!!!!!!

    (BUT some cows could stay in the air-con condo !? )

  15. 2day i went to the flea market ( appeared in M3 b4) in Ipoh :

    # a malay man wanted to buy a shirt berharga rm8 , he counter-offered 5/=, “tak boleh …7/= boleh.”;…as the POOR man walked away I picked up the shirt : it’s 90% new & branded CROCOdile but sized XL not mine M !….BUT i bought it … hoping to meet him, as i walked thro’ the crowd, to tell him the shirt was too BIG for me & he could have it for 5/=
    BUT i saw him NO more !!

    # at the fruit stall, attractive RED rambutan berharga 4/= a kilo but 10/= for 3 ; an Indian woman wanted only a kilo but reluctant to pay 4/= ….so
    I told her to give me 3/= & i paid 7/= : she walked away happily with 1 kilo of red juicy fruits & i had 2 kilo with a joyful heart !!

    # I dropped some coins into the boxes of some beggars : a Chinese mother with 2 kids , a blind malay-man , a cacat Indian & another Chinese woman groaning : ‘ tolong tolong , kaki tak boleh jalan. tak boleh kerja …tolong tolong !’
    As i walked away I saw a Malay man giving money to the Chinese woman !!

    # …….sights with tears……….!

    Those who can pay hundreds of thousand RM for a WWW plate
    please COME to the flea market in Ipoh on Sunday from 7am !!

  16. Since there are “proofs” that Azmin is corrupt and there is also the giver’s name. Does it means that Vincent Tan, too must be subjected to the same treatment as Azmin should MACC decide to say, breaking down Azmin’s house door with special forces ride in black tinted SUV?

  17. The fault lies with the members of the committee that approved the RM250 million to UMNO’s Sharizat family where no merits to award such a huge agriculture project without experience in cow rearing. To look at an angle, the agriculture department should have tied down with any party to work over the progress of the work and approval of utilization of the funds must be approved by the agriculture department. In other words, this not a business project looking from the business point of view.

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