By Clara Chooi
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 26, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — Former senior police officer Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim asserted today that the National Feedlot Corporation’s (NFCorp) controversial condominium purchases are clear examples of CBT (criminal breach of trust), adding the Attorney-General should have “no doubt” of this when deciding whether to press charges.
Mat Zain said that based on provisions in Section 409 of the Penal Code, the husband and children of minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, who run the NFCorp, should each be slapped with numerous counts of CBT.
If convicted, the former KL CID chief said they would be liable to a jail term of between two and 20 years, whipping and a fine.
“After having sighted the NFC (National Feedlot Centre) loan agreement that was made available yesterday, coupled with the public statement by the Commercial Crimes Investigations Director (CCID), I would say that the Attorney General’s Chambers should not have any doubts in their mind now, that these are clear cut case of CBTs by agent as defined under Section 409 (of the) Penal Code.
“There’s no two ways about it. This is not like a breach of an agreement,” he said in an emailed statement to The Malaysian Insider today.
In an in intriguing twist to the ongoing NFC saga, CCID Director Datuk Syed Ismail Syed Azizan confirmed yesterday that the police would recommend CBT charges against all NFCorp directors to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
Mat Zain noted that under the law, every disbursement of public funds in the NFC that was considered in violation of the loan agreement would be considered as one office.
He singled out NFCorp’s controversial condominium purchases, saying every payment for the property, whether for downpayment or instalment, would be viewed as one CBT charge.
“For example the purchase of Condo A: If the purchase of Condo A involved 10 instalments at different times, using the same fund then, they are answerable to 10 counts of CBT charges. That’s how it works.
“So it looks like Shahrizat’s husband and children have committed multiple CBTs by agents in the NFC fiasco,” he said.
NFCorp, which operates the NFC, a RM250 million federally-funded cattle-farming project, is chaired by federal minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s husband, Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail. Their three children also hold executive posts in the company.
The NFC hit the headlines after it made it into the Auditor-General’s Report last year, and has continued to hog the limelight after it was linked to Shahrizat and her family.
Since then, PKR has revealed numerous startling exposes over the scandal-ridden project, including allegations that millions of ringgit have been siphoned off for land, property and personal expenses unrelated to cattle farming.
But recently, in response to claims that NFCorp had purchased two luxury condominiums worth RM34 million in Singapore’s posh Marina Bay Suites, Shahrizat’s son Wan Shahinur Izmir had explained that the company had decided that it would make better use of the money by investing in property during a break in business operations.
The break, said Wan Shahinur Izmir, was caused by the government’s decision to suspend the construction of an abattoir that would have been rented to NFCorp. According to Pua, however, the Finance Ministry had told a parliamentary committee last November that there was no provision that permits the NFCorp to use its federal loan to purchase property.
Since the scandal exploded in the media, Shahrizat (picture) has been faced with repeated calls for her resignation, even from her colleagues in Umno. But she has insisted that the project had nothing to do with her.
The Wanita Umno chief applied for three weeks’ leave from her ministerial duties last month when new allegations of bribery surfaced. She has since resumed her duties.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced last month Putrajaya would appoint an auditor to scrutinise NFCorp’s books in light of accusations made against the company, but dismissed calls for a royal commission of inquiry into the NFC.