Auditor General forewarned that he would be destroying credibility of the sole national institution which had kept its reputation intact in past few decades if …

The Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang must be forewarned that he would be destroying the credibility of the sole national institution which had kept its reputation intact in the past few decades if he succumbed to improper pressures to “whitewash” the RM300 million “cattle condo” scandal, whether the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) or the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp).

The NFCorp chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail – husband of Woman, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil – has claimed that the Auditor-General in his 2010 Report had confused NFCorp, a private entity, with the NFC, which is owned by the Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Ministry.

Salleh said NFCorp is not the entity criticized in the Auditor-General’s Report for being “a mess”.

I have re-read the Auditor-General’s 2010 Report on the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) project and there is nothing to justify Salleh’s claim that the Auditor General had made the most elementary mistake of confusing the two entities, mistaking NFC for NFCorp or vice versa.

Salleh should not try to escape responsibility and accountability for the RM300 million NFC/NFCorp “cattle condo” on such a technical and ridiculous ground.

Buang is right when he clarified today that the word “mess” was never used by him to describe the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC), but was made by media reports on the Auditor-General’s criticisms on the NFC project, and very rightly so.

The whole NFC/NFCorp scandal later ballooned to outrageous proportions with the expose of one scandal after another relating the financial hanky-panky of the NFCorp in the disbursement of the RM250 million government loan for the NFC project when Datuk Seri Najib Razak was chairman of the Cabinet Committee on High Impact Projects and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was Agriculture and Agro-based Industry under Prime Minister Tun Abdullah in 2006/7.

Ambrin Buang should be very jealous of the efforts (and very successful ones) by previous Auditor-Generals like Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin who became a legend and was synonymous with accountability and integrity in his lifetime, to protect the credibility and integrity of the Office of Auditor-General.

These efforts by a whole line of sterling Auditor-Generals have resulted in the Auditor-General’s Office remaining as the only national institution to keep its reputation, credibility and integrity intact unlike other key institutions whether the judiciary, the Elections Commission, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Police, etc who have lost their professionalism and integrity.

The proper place for the Auditor-General to make clarification on his 2010 Report particularly with reference to the NFC/NFCorp scandal, is the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC), and not as a result of improper pressures applied by NFCorp or various organisations or individuals with a political agenda of their own.

This is also why I am shocked that the PAC had been so tardy and not met urgently to conduct immediate investigations into the NFC scandal, when it has virtually become a daily staple scandal for Malaysians in the past three months.

Attempts to undermine the credibility and reputation of the Auditor-General should be new and added reason why the PAC Chairman, Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid should convene a meeting of the PAC in the next few days to decide whether the PAC is to rise up to the challenge to conduct immediate and full investigations into the NFC scandal or face censure in March meeting of Parliament for gross failure and irresponsibility.

  1. #1 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 25 January 2012 - 7:13 pm

    ///Salleh said NFCorp is not the entity criticized in the Auditor-General’s Report for being “a mess”.///

    If there were a “mess”, it is about why a govt soft loan of RM250 million with 2%-interest has been given and why it had been diverted not only to buy two luxury condominiums in Bangsar but also for other controversial transactions.

    So the question is who was awarded the soft loan and its use. Does Salleh deny NF Corp (NF Corp) got the loan and used it? Or does he now say its National Feedlot Centre (NFC) that auditor got mixed up with NF Corp? If it were NFC, then why at first instance when controversy broke, Salleh defended by saying that the yield from the luxury property (two condominiums in upmarket Bangsar, each costing RM6.9 million, and rented them out for RM70,000 a month and giving a yield of RM900,000 each, at 12.9% return on investment) was much higher than if the funds were kept at 2.9% in the bank? Surely he was defending NF Corp (with whom he & family are associated) by this statement or are we now to believe that he was defending NFC? What has NFC got to do with the use of the loan and the luxury property that he was talking about?

  2. #2 by Loh on Wednesday, 25 January 2012 - 10:14 pm

    Mamakthir’s words
    ///1. Seorang pengerusi badan Kerajaan berkata pembangunan negara ini akan tergendala selagi ada usaha mengaitkan bangsa dengan bisnes.

    2. Kita akui yang pengerusi berkenaan mempunyai kebolehan tertentu yang menyebabkan ia dilantik oleh Kerajaan sebagai pengerusi, tetapi orang lain tidak mempunyai sifat tertentu dan masih perlu diberi pertimbangan dalam perniagaan dan lain-lain berasas kepada bangsa mereka.///–Mamakthir

    Based on Mamakthir’s argument, as long as there is still a Malay who is poor, NEP should remain. Mamakthir said in an interview with BBC that because there were still Malay drivers working for Chinese tycoons NEP had not achieved it objectives. That is how Mamakthir twisted the intention of NEP, and how he fought as Kakak-Mamak of Calicut Kerela for his race, the Malay race. Najib’s father Tun Razak promised that the NEP on which the assistance to Malays participating in business was based, would end in 20 years when Malays had 30% equity capital in the country. Najib conveniently ignores his father’s promise. Thus Malaysians are not equal as long as UMNO is in power.

    ///3. Benarkah pengambilan kira bangsa dalam perniagaan di Malaysia melalui dasar DEB menghalang pertumbuhan ekonominya? Dunia mengakui bahawa Malaysia yang berbilang kaum ini lebih cepat dan tinggi tahap pembangunannya dari negara-negara membangun yang lain yang tidak mempunyai masalah bangsa untuk diambilkira.///–Mamakthir

    Mamakthir selectively used whatever argument that suits his purposes, and even if the words were meant sarcastically. It defies logic to argue that meritocracy is a drag to economic development. Malaysia might be more developed than other countries despite NEP; it would certainly be much better off without NEP.

    ///4. Memang mungkin jika masalah kaum tidak menghantui Malaysia pertumbuhannya menjadi lebih pesat. Tetapi apabila agihan kekayaan begitu luas di antara kaum, besar kemungkinan permusuhan akan berlaku antara kaum yang miskin dengan kaum yang kaya.///–Mamakthir

    Mamakthir is certain that the poorer people would be envious of the richer people, but why should the jealousy be confined to people across ethnic groups? Isn’t it more relevant for people to be envious of the persons who know more intimately if the sense of jealousy prevails? Mamakthir has made his cronies filthy rich and wealth disparity among the Malays is much wider than that among other races. As the government under him had been actively promoting jealousy as Malays’ sports aren’t poor Malays now ready to rob rich Malays? This should be more likely since the rich Malays at the level of Mamathir’s sons acquired their wealth through political connections rather than through their own business undertaking. But there is no riot of poor Malays against rich Malays. It shows that Malays are not culpable of running amok out of jealousy against other races or causing riots in May 13 as Razak wanted the world to believe.

    Why do Malays allow a Calicut Indian to claim to be one of them, to use them to attain power and yet to disparage them?

    ///5. Permusuhan ini sudah tentu akan menyebabkan ketegangan dalam masyarakat dan menjadikan negara tidak stabil dan terdedah kepada huru hara dan rusuhan.///–Mamakthir

    Any hostility that exists in the country is caused by the racist policies created by UMNO and perpetuated by Perkasa. NEP was an excuse to whitewash May 13. NEP has since been a vehicle for the powers-that-be to enrich themselves and their cronies.

    Jealousy alone would not be able to produce the riots of May 13. That was why UMNO delegates at the UMNO general assembly declared that they could bring about another May 13. Does it mean that UMNO could at will contain the sense of jealousy? Then UMNO is at will to create hostility or unity.

    ///6. Keadaan seperti ini akan menghalang pelaburan, dagangan dan perusahaan. Dalam iklim seperti ini ekonomi tidak mungkin tumbuh dengan baik. Pembangunan akan terjejas.///–Mamakthir

    FDI came to Malaysia until 1990s because other countries in the region were operating planned economies. Since the opening up of other ASEAN countries and China, Malaysia ceased to be a preferred destination especially after Mamakthir destroyed the judiciary. Investors are wary of racial polarization in the country entrenched by NEP. Hot riots might not recur but cold war among the communities fanned by UMNO is sufficient to discourage investors.

    ///7. Yang jelas ialah mengenepikan masalah bangsa dalam negara berbilang kaum, tidak juga menjamin kepesatan pembangunan.

    8. Kata pepatah Melayu, telan mati pak, luah mati emak.

    9. Namun adalah lebih baik pembangunan terlewat sedikit daripada kehancuran akibat rusuhan.///–Mamakthir

    It is now clear that May 13 could have happened had Tun Razak stopped Harun Idris in time before Harun sent his people out rioting. Thus May 13 was not a result of hatred among people of different ethnic communities, and it had nothing to do with wealth or jealousy. Razak chose to launch NEP at the time when Article 153 should have been reviewed. NEP was racially discriminatory in approach and it heightens racial polarization by the day when UMNO introduced increasingly more racially discriminatory policies. For example, non-Malays pay a 7% higher price for housing units starting only in the 1980s. It has nothing to do with the objective of NEP.

    Mamakthir still uses the same excuse of riots to justify NEP or Ketunan Melayu. But, it is the call for Ketuanan Melayu that he champions that might cause riots. But Malays today are not so easily fooled into wasting their lives so that politicians can remain in power.

  3. #3 by Godfather on Thursday, 26 January 2012 - 8:32 am

    Is this Najib’s idea of “transformation” ? One day it’s in a mess, the next day it’s fine and under control ? Najib must be a magician and we must insist on a public inquiry to see the type of magic that he uses to transform the National Feed-a-Lot Project from abject failure to resounding success.

  4. #4 by Godfather on Thursday, 26 January 2012 - 8:36 am

    Oh, someone just mentioned that the transformation of the National Feed-a-Lot Corp isn’t credited to Najib. The hero of the transformation is actually Ibrahim Ali. Now the Katak is going to get a BN seat for sure.

  5. #5 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 26 January 2012 - 9:15 am

    If people think NFC ‘mess’ is bad. There are worst ones happening right now. Najib has completely lost the plot how to lead the country and his party. He is literally scrambling trying to put his thumb into a breaking dam. In such a scenarios, the wolfs and vulture within his party and administration will feed like mad men and women because they know tmrw they may lose everything..

    Somewhere, there is something else, bigger and worst..

  6. #6 by Cinapek on Thursday, 26 January 2012 - 11:12 am

    We should stop arguing about the pedantics of NFC or NF Corp. The question is simple. The Govt dispensed a “loan” of RM250 million to an entity helmed by Sharizat’s husband and family for the purpose of developing the cattle industry in Malaysia. What has it got to show for the money dispensed?

    Don’t try to confuse the issue. If this was the splitting hair excuse Sharizat’s husband wanted to give at the start, say so. Why now? Why after all the excuses given have failed that this technicality is brought up. If the people involved had no sense of guilt why pay a “Mr Fixit” to offer RM1.7m to the police to go easy on the investigation? And since there has been no denial that the condo purchases in Bangsar and Singapore, the purchase of land in Putrajaya and the extravagant credit cards and travel expenses took place, doesn’t all this warrant an investigation instead of trying to sidestep the issue by splitting hairs.

  7. #7 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 26 January 2012 - 2:27 pm

    According to TheMalaysianInsider, Auditor General Ambrin said he didn’t use the word “mess” to describe the project but there were “weaknesses” in NFC He also confirmed “NFCorp’s argument that his 2010 report had not centred on the company but was an evaluation of whether the NFC project had been carefully planned and had met its objectives”. The important point is that Ambrin confirmed that the RM250 million soft loan agreement between NFCorp and the Malaysian government was signed in 2007 and not in 2010 as alleged by several parties. If NFCorp signed it, then it received the Loan, and the question is whether luxury condos, cars, creditcard.salaries.etc are part of permitted utilisation of such a loan by NFCorp and its officers. What’s difference between “mess” and “weaknesses” when very serious weaknesses slips into the boundaries of the word “mess”? Lets not have a play of semantics here.

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