Monday 30 January 2012

Shamsubahrin: NFC chief pressured me to bribe police

Businessman Shamsubahrin Ismail, who has been charged with cheating National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) executive chairperson Mohamed Salleh Ismail, has claimed that the latter pressured him to bribe the police to cover up the company’s scandal.

NONEHe made this claim in a police report lodged at the Klang General Hospital last Friday, which was revealed by PKR at its headquarters in Petaling Jaya today.

The police report reads: “In my appointment, I received messages and pressure from Salleh asking me to cover up the NFC case with the police.

“Salleh, through phone calls and SMSes, pressured me to pay bribes to the police to cover up the case.”

In the report, Shamsubahrin claimed that he was appointed by NFC as a corporate advisor and consultant to “clean up” NFC’s internal problems.

He added that he had met with the police to facilitate their investigation but had told Salleh he would not give bribes.

NFC is accused of misappropriating a RM250 million government soft loan by allegedly spending it on luxurious assets instead of the cattle centre in Gemas, which it had been tasked to manage.

'MACC not acting on evidence'
Asked if PKR possessed the SMS evidence, its vice president Surendran said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is in possession of the phone containing the messages.

“Several phones were taken from Shamsubahrin and all the phones were later returned except for one. That one held by the MACC is the one containing all this crucial matter.

NONE“It is in the hands of the authority but we have records, we have a backup of it,” he said.

Surendran also questioned the MACC, saying that despite possessing the information, it had failed to act against the “real culprits”.

Shamsubahrin was on Dec 30, last year, charged with cheating Salleh of RM2million in consultation fees.

Surendran, together with PKR legal bureau chief Latheefa Koya, are lawyers for Shamsubahrin, said after he managed to raise enough money to post the RM300,000 bail on Jan 19, was immediately re-arrested and slapped with another two cheating charges.

The two charges were brought against him on the same day he lodged the police report. He was at that time warded in hospital for health complications.

He is now in Sungai Buloh prison and has refused to post bail for the second time for fear of being slapped with more charges, said Surendran.

“He is not ready to come out because he fears for his safety, ironically and strangely he feels safer in Sungai Buloh,” said Latheefa.

Investigation politically motivated

In the police report, Shamsubahrin said: “I believe that I have been made a scapegoat and lied to by Salleh to cover-up and save the reputation of Salleh and his wife (Women, Family and Community Development Minister) Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

azlan“The accusations and investigation on me are politically motivated where I have been victimised and is intended to cover-up the NFC investigation.”

Also at the press conference, PKR Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin caused a stir when she claimed Salleh and Shamsubahrin knew each other through Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

However, she later retracted her statement, saying: “They met through TPM, TPM is Technology Park Malaysia not timbalan perdana menteri (deputy prime minister).”

However, she said the information released today will be used for her and PKR strategies director Rafizi Ramli’s defence in a RM100 million defamation lawsuit filed by Shahrizat against her.

Shahrizat has consistently denied involvement in the controversy even though her family members form part of the company. She has since gone on a three-week leave to facilitate investigations.

When contacted, GRA Communications chief executive Ghazalie Abdullah, who is acting for NFC, said he will respond after he ascertains the content of the police report.

“We have just got wind of this, we do not know exactly what is in the police statement, I’m trying to establish it and indicate it to our client,” he said.

 Meanwhile, PKR's Subang MP R Sivarasa (right) blasted the government over a news report quoting a Public Accounts Committee insider as saying that no personal guarantees had been given for the soft loan.

"It is unusual to give huge amounts of money without some form of guarantee... What was the intention of NFC when it applied for the loan? Was there a genuine intention to implement the project or is it a sham?"

Sivarasa said using a loan other than for its intended purpose is criminal breach of trust, and ripped NFC executive director Wan Shahinur Izmir Salleh for suggesting that the matter has been blown up.

"I advise this young fellow to get a good lawyer and seek advice instead of making foolish and ridiculous statements when RM250 million in public money has been abused," he added. Later in the evening, NFC executive director Wan Shahinur Izran Salleh said via Twitter that the firm will issue a statement soon, and he hoped Malaysiakini readers would await their response. He alleged that PKR was again making defamatory and untruthful statements.

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