By Lee Wei Lian
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 — Rafizi Ramli cannot use whistleblowing as an avenue to evade charges of divulging confidential banking information, said the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) today, as the details involved accounts that existed prior to the firm’s establishment.
This comes after Rafizi, who is PKR’s strategy chief, applied on Monday to have the charges against him under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (BAFIA) dismissed, claiming the prosecution was abusing its power to gag him from further exposés on the NFCorp scandal.
NFCorp highlighted today that the loan accounts that Rafizi had said were wrongly used for the purchase of KL Eco City office lots were not connected to NFCorp, but were personal loans taken in 2005, before the firm was established, and in 2008 prior to KL Eco City properties’ sale launch in 2011.
“Although Rafizi Ramli went on at length to explain at his news conference that loans were taken for KL Eco City office lots, no such loans were ever taken,” said NFCorp.
“Rafizi Ramli had fabricated a story to deceive the media and the public. He had used bank financial summaries to make it appear they were connected when in actual fact they were not.”
NFCorp said that the distribution of account details by Rafizi, which was allegedly in violation of BAFIA, occurred at his media conference on March 7.
The firm added that its own deposit account was free from any encumbrances and not at any risk as it was not connected to the personal loans taken by its chairman in 2005 and 2008.
Rafizi’s defence lawyer, N. Surendran, said on Monday that their application to quash the charges states that they are an abuse of process, selective prosecution and are against public policy.
He added that it was against public policy to punish whistleblowers like Rafizi, saying that the latter was merely exposing the mismanagement of taxpayers’ monies in the NFC scandal.
“The law does not allow it; it is against public policy to charge a person for doing something good. It is not for public benefit to charge Rafizi for exposing wrongdoing,” he told reporters outside the courtroom.