Sunday, 1 January 2012

NFC, MACC and the cow in the condominium

DEC 31 — Datuk Shamsubaharin Ismail was charged in the Sessions Court yesterday with cheating National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) chairman Datuk Mohamad Salleh Ismail out of RM1.76 million in consultation fees for fraudulent advisory services.

Earlier, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the police had said one man was being detained in connection with the NFC probe. Now, Malaysians have a man being prosecuted for cheating the NFC.

What about the NFC “mess” as described in the Auditor-General’s Report 2011?

Will any heads roll for RM250 million in public funds being spent on condominiums and a luxury car rather than a cattle farm meant to reduce our food import bill? Are we to be satisfied with a side show? Is the civil service in step with Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s aim to stamp out corruption?
Activist and social worker Tan Sri Robert Phang raised the matter today when he spoke about the cases involving Women, Community and Family Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, whose husband is NFC’s Salleh, and Deputy Finance Minister Senator Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussein, who admitted he received cash into his private accounts but justified it as for political donations towards social programmes.

“In the case of Datuk Seri Shahrizat, the evidence is already in the public domain of the misappropriation of the NFC funds granted for the national cattle project instead being used to purchase luxurious condominiums, super cars and fantastic salaries for Shahrizat’s husband and children.

“The initial statement by the MACC that they only investigate corruption cases and referred the matter to the police is seen as a feeble attempt to pass the bucket. That was the same thing that happened in Khir Toyo’s case until I pursued it that led to Khir Toyo being charged,” said Phang.
He also pointed out that Awang Adek’s open admission of having received such monies to fund his own “social” programmes actually constituted political gratification.

“I invite the MACC Chief Commissioner, Datuk Seri Abu Kasssim, to deliver to both Shahrizat and Awang Adek the lectures that he had delivered to me when I was on the MACC Advisory Panel about the meaning of gratification,” he said.

Phang said further: “It is abundantly clear that the actions of Shahrizat and Anwang Adek are not defensible. The MACC does itself discredit if it continuously refuses to act with the same speed and efficiency when it involves members of the ruling party.

“The rakyat is tired of excuses. In the interest of the BN government, Shahrizat and Awang Adek should resign and offer themselves for investigation by MACC and other authorities. By resigning, only then can investigations against them be done without the undue influence which cannot be the case if they remain in the Cabinet,” he added.

Phang is saying what a lot of Malaysians have privately thought or shared with their friends. No one will be content with Shamsubaharin being the only person charged with an offence that right now does not have any connection with what the Auditor-General has revealed.

Is Putrajaya content with just giving lip-service? It has to walk the talk. Otherwise, the voters will ask BN to take a hike. The ball is in the MACC’s or police’s court to take action against those involved in criminal breach of trust in the NFC scandal. Take action. Don’t obsfuscate. Now.

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