By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — PKR accused Putrajaya today of trying to cover up the RM250 million National Feedlot Centre (NFC) scandal by inviting bids to run the national cattle farming project, and holds the prime minister directly responsible for the controversy.
PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli (picture) said the main issue in the scandal was Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s own involvement in the matter, when he had allowed a RM250 million federal project to be given to National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp), a company which had no experience and was owned by Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil’s husband and family.
“This reflects the carelessness on the prime minister’s part which led to a possibility of misappropriation (of the loan) as well as criminal breach of trust.
“This has not been answered, and yet the PM wants to invite new bids...this shows his intention to cover up his mistakes for awarding the contract to an undeserving party,” said Rafizi in a statement today.
The PKR leader pointed out two announcements made by the government regarding the case which has not been done:
•the government has not explained why NFCorp was allowed to still conduct its daily business when Najib had called for the company’s assets to be frozen
•the government has yet to announce details regarding the “independent” audit to be carried out on NFCorp.
“Till today, the scope of audit, the auditor responsible and when it will be made presented to Parliament is not known.
“I am concerned that the audit is being done so that the wrongdoings can be identified and evidence of it will be destroyed,” said Rafizi.
He said PKR is not left with no choice but to continue their weekly exposes of the NFC scandal, which will begin “next week”.
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar said yesterday Putrajaya will invite bids to take over the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) from the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp), whose chairman is facing charges for misusing part of a RM250 million soft loan for the project.
He said the proposal to invite other companies to carry on the project had been announced by PM Najib previously and his deputy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had been asked to ensure that the project was continued.
NFC hit the headlines when the Auditor-General reported it had missed its targets while the project managers, NFCorp chairman Datuk Seri Dr Mohamed Salleh Ismail was alleged to have misused the government allocation of RM250 million for the cattle rearing project.
On March 12, Dr Mohamed Salleh, the husband of Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court here to two counts of criminal breach of trust involving RM49.7 million with regard to the purchase of two condominium units and two other charges under the Companies Act.