Monday, 10 September 2012

Shahrizat family’s eateries in Singapore bite the dust

September 10, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 — Three restaurants in Singapore owned by the scandal-hit family of Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil have reportedly closed, appearing to mark the family's exit from the island republic.

The Singapore Straits Times reported that the restaurants – Meatworks, Brawn Steakhouse and Brazilian churrascaria Senor Santos — have served their final customers and comes after the family's supermarket chain Farmhouse Supermarkets had their lease cancelled by Rochester Mall in Buena Vista.

The daily reported that Meatworks shut its doors in the high-end ION Orchard mall for the last time on September 4 and Brawn Steakhouse in the city's swanky new Marina Bay central business district closed down in the third week of July, with a year left on its lease and will be replaced by pub-and-eatery Erwin's Gastrobar.

The Wanita Umno chief 's family was accused by the opposition last year of using federal funds meant for the National Feedlot Corporation's (NFCorp) national cattle farming project for their private interests, a claim they have denied.

They admitted, however, that some of the federal funds were used to purchase luxury condominiums in Bangsar and Singapore.

But the fallout from the controversy pressured Shahrizat (picture) into stepping down as women, family and community minister on March 11.

A day later, Shahrizat's husband, Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail, was charged with criminal breach of trust and violating the Companies Act involving RM49 million worth of federal funds given to NFCorp.
The hearing for his case has been fixed for November 5.

It is not clear, however, if the closure of the restaurants are directly related to the family's troubles in Malaysia.

Questions sent to representatives of NFCorp went unanswered as at press time.

When contacted, the manager of Meatworks in the upmarket KL suburb of Mont Kiara confirmed that Meatworks in Singapore has closed, but was not able to furnish any additional details.

The NFCorp scandal is also expected to put Malaysia's whistleblower protection laws under greater scrutiny after PKR's strategy director Rafizi Ramli was charged on August 1 with violating the BAFIA (Banking and Financial Institutions Act) by exposing confidential banking details of NFCorp.

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