Will the charge against NFC boss be an escapade for BN?

— Kim Quek
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 14, 2012

MARCH 14 — It appears that the charge of NFC chairman Mohamed Salleh Ismail in court is a tactical move to get away from the scorching NFC scandal – the same way Barisan Nasional has got away with the RM12.5 billion PKFZ ghost town scandal and the Khir Toyo corruption scandal.

This move is known as the “decoy and silence” tactic, which has been BN’s time-tested strategy to slip away from a high corruption scandal entrapment. It is simply to initiate a peripheral charge to divert attention from the real issue and use the court action as shield to fence-off further attacks on ground of “sub judice”.

This is vividly illustrated in Parliament on March 13, a day after Mohamed Salleh was charged, when Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia absurdly cited the current court case as reason to reject an emergency motion on the NFC project debacle tabled by MP Zuraida Kamaruddin, despite the latter explaining that her issue was with the ministries which approved the project, and not with Mohamed Salleh’s misconduct, which is the subject matter of the current court case.

And on the same day, Agriculture Minister Noh Omar, under whose jurisdiction the NFC project falls, deflected all questions on the scandal on the equally ridiculous suggestion of sub judice; while Barisan Nasional MP Abdul Rahman Dahlan falsely claimed that the court is now the best platform to thrash out the issues, adding that the party that should answer questions is NFC, and not the ministries.

Apparently, BN hopes that with Mohamed Salleh in the dock, the BN government would be left in peace.

A decoy

But what is Mohamed Salleh charged for? He is charged for misusing part of the soft loan meant to spearhead the beef production industry.

And what is the public furious about? They are angry at the alleged high corruption going on at the highest hierarchy of the Barisan Nasional leadership that has led to this fiasco that saw not only huge public funds – RM250 million and grant RM13 million – going down the drain but also a key food production scheme thwarted.

So who is the bigger culprit – the guardian of public funds or the recipient of these funds? The elected leaders who have betrayed public trust to honestly and prudently manage the country’s resources or the private project developer who has failed?

Obviously the main focus of investigation should be on the former.

The public wants to know why and how a manifestly incompetent party was awarded the contract. And since the appointee is the family of a Cabinet minister, the public also wants to know whether there are elements of corruption?

In this connection, why weren’t the two key decision-makers in this fiasco investigated, namely, then agriculture minster Muhyiddin Yassin and then chairman of committee for high impact projects Najib Razak, who had jointly approved the award?

Will the MACC please answer this question now?

Will the MACC also brief us on the status of its investigation since its start almost four months ago?

The simple answer of “case still under investigation, can’t disclose details to avoid jeopardizing investigation” wouldn’t do, as four months is too long a time to give this lame excuse. In fact, such answer has long been recognised as MACC’s standard ploy to stonewall public inquisitiveness over a high profile BN scandal. If MACC insists on giving such an answer, it will be taken as: “Sorry, we can’t oblige”.

Will BN be off the hook again?

As for the current court case, do not expect that anything meaningful will come out of it, judging from similar cases against BN elite in the past.

Mohamed Salleh is accused of improperly transferring funds from National Feedlot Corporation to another company, National Meat and Livestock Corporation, where improper purchases of assets unrelated to the project were made. As both companies are owned by minister Shahrizat’s family, with the exception that the government has a golden share in the former but not the latter company, such improper transfer of fund cannot be considered a serious fraud. The more serious contention is over the propriety of the asset purchases, which is apparently a violation of the loan agreement. But Salleh is not charged for such violation.

It is not difficult to see that the present drama is a carefully crafted stratagem involving the concerted effort of MACC, police and the Attorney-General, to extricate BN from a potentially crippling predicament on the eve of an impending election.

Will BN succeed again this time under the nose of a resurgent opposition alliance and an activated civil society?

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 14 March 2012 - 9:14 pm

    UmnoB very good n professional at staging SHOWs just b4 a GE, play play only lah
    Toyo, COWcheat n Ling all charged but all smiling away, where got sweat 1 lah

  2. #2 by tak tahan on Wednesday, 14 March 2012 - 10:03 pm

    /It is not difficult to see that the present drama is a carefully crafted stratagem involving the concerted effort of MACC, police and the Attorney-General, to extricate BN from a potentially crippling predicament on the eve of an impending election./-Kim Quek(sounds like Korean-but nevermind the race-as long its human race)

    Will the majority of voters mature or wise enough to see through all these or not?Still will vote for the incumbent government?If so,the best i can say is at your own peril and prepared to be sodomised.Stock up more K-Y!

  3. #3 by Cinapek on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 12:52 am

    “…….use the court action as shield to fence-off further attacks on ground of “sub judice”…..”

    Pardon my layman’s ignorance but does this statement means that no questions can be asked in Parliament or any other official institutions about these cases during the period it is in court? What happens if the case drags on for years (or deliberately dragged on for years)? Does it mean that for the whole period that the case are still in the courts no questions can be asked?

    How convenient.

  4. #4 by monsterball on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 1:27 am

    Imagine the so call powerful government using decoys ….shows…and sacrificial lambs….to prepare for 13th GE.
    Strange….under Najib….and within these 4 years and after 12th GE..it is Traitors against Patriots ..this time around.
    He likes war games as a child and still is today.
    It is not about people and country.
    It is a war game to him…but first he must keep on recruiting soldiers and volunteers…going around…smiling..saying “trust me”…..”you help me I help you” again….throwing money….lunch and dinners….gifts.
    YET!!…still no announcement of 13th GE date.
    ahya….what’s next???

  5. #5 by monsterball on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 1:47 am

    Concerning this NFC corruption case..the government can keep using decoys and whatever tactics they have to fool Malaysians.
    So many issues in the past….much much more worst than this daylight robbery act done….all masterminds…never been charged.
    Want to see real rule of law…vote UMNO b out.
    Have them…live with the rules and don’t complaint.
    “Brothers..sisters….we have a problem”… is what Najib telling his saudara saudari UMNO b kingpins.
    Where is the problem?
    Malaysians are getting smarter and smarter…and most young voters want change.
    What’s next Pussycat Najib?

  6. #6 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 6:16 am

    ‘ “…….use the court action as shield to fence-off further attacks on ground of “sub judice”…- How convenient ‘ – Cinapek. It is. The NutGraph has given some treatment of “Sub judice” as a ploy for censorship here- http://www.thenutgraph.com/censoring-with-sub-judice/
    The object of Sub Judice is to uphold rights of defendants facing a criminal charge. They are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The idea is to minimize the judges/jury (whoever the arbiter) being unduly influenced by public comments relating to innocence or guilt, which ought to be established solely by evidence marshaled/filtered through the adversarial system of the courts. To seek to influence otherwise can only be argued as subverting the normal judicial process constituting ‘contempt of court’. (If Imam can be sentenced for 1 yr jail throwing a shoe, what punishment for one throwing an inappropriate comment on CowGate?) Tis’ anyone’s guess! It is ironical that as a democratic government of a free society will seek to balance and draw a rational line to balance the integrity of the accused’s rights & court proceedings protected by principle of sub judice against citizens’ rights to freedom of expression – so an undemocratic government of a not-so-free society can selectively manipulate the tension between subjudice & freedom of speech for its own ends to protect kleptocracy and thwart accountability. Ever it is true that the best rules of wisdom and prudence cannot achieve their noble ends if the hand that interprets and applies them is crafty and Machiavellian!

  7. #7 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 6:34 am

    Ooops – “To seek to influence otherwise can ALSO (not ‘only’) be argued as subverting…”

    Life itself is not simple. As society seeks to uphold one principle (eg freedom of expression), it will find that that meritorious principle may collide against another (principle) (eg rights of the accused or integrity of judicial proceedings). Nothing is really that black and white. Most things require a balancing act. Society like a individual person within it seeks to benefit from not just one but often competing objectives/principles! One must look at the context and surrounding facts and circumstances, why in one instance the first principle should be given weightage and why in another, the second….The party that is vested the right to weigh and balance and make a determination of which applies in a given situation is often the courts. They the arbiter – referee of the game, so to speak. If the referee is competent and fair, then the game will see the side that has merits win; otherwise it is the other way around. This is trite. It underscores the importance of independent and competent (referees) judges in any given society if it were to progress and not fail. As I said earlier the best rules can be twisted by a crafty mind.

  8. #8 by k1980 on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 6:53 am

    At the last polls the popular result was much closer, with BN winning 30 of its seats by a total margin of just 27,222 votes. “This means some 27,000 voters were the ones who delivered to BN a simple majority government,”


  9. #10 by yhsiew on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 9:11 am

    The country is doomed when its anti-corruption agency (MACC) condones and protects high-profile government corruption.

  10. #11 by waterfrontcoolie on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 10:05 am

    If the case is dragged AFTER the GE, as the general public has expected, it would have negative impact on BN. Just like the PKFZ case. So the ball is with the PM. BN has treated Malaysians like idiots, in a sense they are; as they have had re-elected them so often in spite of so many blatant lies and corruptions being practised! In a way, the Majority Malasyians deserved what they get in return. I believe 08 is the turning point in our history when the younger set of Malaysians realized their folly and the Opposition should avoid unnecessary verbal rebuttal but just show evidence like whta Radizi abd Tony Phua did on the Cow-gate issue and defence purchases. Just publicize evidences in black and white and let BN does the explanation!

  11. #12 by cseng on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 12:02 pm

    Will the charge against NFC boss be an escapade for BN?

    depend who you ask, to the rural folks, RM500 means votes for BN, to the urban voters, NFC means no votes for BN.

    at the end, is really about election of rural and urban, a fight of informed voters and not informed voters. anyway, DAP will again bag the biggest majority awards… awarded by EC’s 1 voter 1 vote policy, great!

  12. #13 by on cheng on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 9:06 pm

    all these crooks should also get the rotan sentence in addition to jail !!

  13. #14 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 9:20 pm

    ///If the case is dragged AFTER the GE, as the general public has expected, it would have negative impact on BN.///

    They are not so interested in negative impact/impression after the GE if they win. After all they may not be confident in winning the 14th GE after next even if there were no such negative impact/impression.

    By charging NFC chairman before and getting Sharizat to go before the 13th GE they hope to generate sufficient impression amongst the naive to give them the voting edge to win, which is what counts. After winning they don’t care if the prosecutor “fumbles” and the accused get acquitted, and better still, Wanita UMNO helmed by Sharizat performs well to deliver BN victory. It will be redemption – and justification to reinstate her, esp under circumstances of her hubby’s acquittal (if this happens).

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