By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 — The National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) said today it had written to the government on October 27, 2009 to ask for a deferment of its RM250 million loan repayments over construction delays related to the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) in Gemas, Negri Sembilan.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said earlier today the NFCorp has yet to repay the RM250 million federal loan despite the repayment date being due two months ago.
PAC chairman Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid told reporters that the committee was informed of this by Finance Ministry officials who were quizzed on the federally-funded cattle-breeding project.
“NFCorp had written to the government... to ask for a deferment on the loan repayment as a result of the construction of an export quality abattoir being put on hold as well as the incompletion of infrastructure by third-parties for the Pusat Fidlot Nasional (National Feedlot Centre/NFC) in Gemas, Negeri Sembilan as highlighted by the Auditor-General in his 2010 Report,” the company said in a statement this evening.
The statement said that the abattoir was supposed to have been built in 2008 and rented to NFCorp to enable it to meet its production targets but was delayed and has yet to be built. Delayed construction of infrastructure included a 7.5km concrete road leading to the NFC and a water supply system comprising of pools, piping, and tube walls.
“These ... had severely disrupted the targeted beef production numbers of NFCorp and its projected business turnover,” the firm added.
It also said the government had allocated a separate fund to the Veterinary Services Department for the construction of the abattoir and other infrastructures, which it said could have used the federal allocation to build the items.
“NFCorp had written to the government to ask for a deferment on the loan repayment to begin after the completion of the crucial government-built export quality abattoir,” it added.
NFCorp, which was tasked with running the national cattle-farming scheme, is headed by Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail, the husband of Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, and their three children.
Mohamad Salleh was charged last Monday with criminal breach of trust and violating the Companies Act after he allegedly used the cattle-rearing firm’s federal loan for personal expenses.
The NFC project in Gemas, Negri Sembilan, was awarded to the company in 2006 when Shahrizat was in Cabinet.
NFCorp hit the national headlines after it made it into the Auditor-General’s Report last year for missing production targets.