Thursday, 29 December 2011
NGO secretly films NFC-linked S'pore condo
Saying it will leave no stone unturned, PKR-linked NGO Jingga 13 made the trip down to Singapore to prove to Malaysians that the luxury condominium owned by cabinet minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s family is as luxurious as it was made out to be.
“We were shooed off when we tried to take a photograph from the front, so we tried going through the back and were berated by a security guard from another building, who said photographs are not allowed as it is private property,” said Jingga 13 leader Fariz Musa.
Braving the zealous security guards, it took seven of the Jingga 13 members three attempts to get into the compound of Orchard Scotts on Anthony Road. They finally succeeded by tailing residents when the guards were not looking.
What they found inside was something “worth the RM9.9 million paid by Shahrizat’s family”, Fariz told a press conference at PKR headquarters in Tropicana today.
The result was a two-minute, 20-second video clip that featured Fariz taking viewers on a tour of the common area, including the swimming pool, bathroom and toilet.
“This is just the common bathroom, and it already has a spa (a small pool, believed to be a jacuzzi). Imagine how it is like in the actual condominium units,” he told reporters during the screening of the video.
Earlier this month, PKR revealed that Shahrizat’s husband, Mohamad Salleh Ismail, and two of their children jointly own a RM9.9 million condominium unit in downtown Singapore.
The family of the women, family and community development minister are under fire for alleged misappropriation of a RM250 million government loan for their company, National Feedlot Corporation.
However, PKR could not produce proof that the condominium was paid with NFC funds, except for the fact that funds were transferred from NFC to the family’s Singapore-based companies.
Empty seats in Meatworks
The group members, who paid for the Dec 23 to 24 trip out of their own pockets, also visited an upmarket restaurant owned by the family, known as Meatworks, in ION Orchard Mall.
“We were there from after 11 in the morning to right before 1pm and there was no one else but us. The Japanese and Chinese restaurants next door had many customers.
“Without NFC’s assistance, Meatworks in Singapore would have gone belly up,” Fariz said of the restaurant that specialises in steak and has a branch in Kuala Lumpur.
Fariz, who decried the exchange rate between Singapore dollars and the ringgit, added that the group did not order anything because they were “afraid”.
“There was no halal sign, and liquor was sold at the premises,” he said, adding that they kept stalling the waiter by saying that they were still waiting for friends.
The group also shot a two-minute video of the restaurant, showing the empty seats and the hallway, which they claimed was also rented by Meatworks.
NFC a symbol of misappropriation
“We will blast out these videos on Facebook and other sites to show... the misappropriation and criminal breach of trust by Shahrizat’s family, including the land purchases, condominiums, Mercedes Benz cars and overseas trips,” he said.
Jingga 13 has lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on two plots of land in Putrajaya, allegedly bought by the family using NFC funds.
NFC had also purchased two luxury condominium units in Bangsar through its subsidiary, National Meat and Livestock Corporation, which it claims are investment ventures.
Also present at the press conference was Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin, who said the NFC fiasco would be go down as a “landmark case” in Malaysian political history.
“We will continue to unearth evidence to turn this case into a symbol for the next general election, so people will realise how dirty the BN government is and how it misappropriates the rakyat’s money,” Zuraida said.