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Another cow-gate in the making?

 | June 18, 2012

Malaysia's largest livestock integrated centre will be based in Sabah and is a joint venture between Brunei and the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (Sedia).

KENINGAU: When Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak officiated at the ground-breaking ceremony, of the proposed 834ha Keningau Livestock Integrated Centre here (KLIC) here on Saturday, uppermost on most people’s mind was: “Is this another NFC?”

Can’t blame the local folk, really.

The widely reported RM250 million National Feedlot Centre (NFC) “cow-gate” scandal has filtered down to the farmers here courtesy of the opposition.

The scandal saw federal Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil walk away unscathed despite the fact that her husband and children were directly linked to the “deal” which allegedly spawned purchases of multi-million ringgit penthouses, opulent lifestyles and whatnots.

The KLIC to be located in Sook will be the country’s largest livestock centre when fully operational supposedly by next year.

It’s a flagship project under the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) and aims to increase the population of (again) high-quality yield cows, and also (again) to develop the “sustainable” breeding of cattle.

The KLIC, aiming to have 2,000 head of cattle producing six million litres of milk annually, will “likely” learn a thing or two from Keningau millionaire and the country’s largest breeder and dairy farmer Yap Yun Fook.

Yap, according to Najib, “started with only two cows and RM1,000 in the 1980s and now has a 110 hectare high-tech farm”.

Urging farmers to emulate Yap, Najib said the federal government was aware of “our people’s hardship and needs”.

He said the KLIC project “is part of our strategy for rural development” which the federal government is “vehemently undertaking”.

“We have a clear roadmap, and we know our people’s hardship and needs because we have a sufficient database,” he said.

Sedia ‘wholly funded’ by PMD

Meanwhile, Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman said the KLIC is estimated to generate investment opportunities worth RM763 million for the interior areas.

“It would become a catalyst for agriculture and agro-based development in the country, in general, and specifically Sabah,” he said.

The next obvious question is who’s in on the deal.

On Saturday, Najib witnessed the signing of an agreement between the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (Sedia) and the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) for collaborations in livestock breeding and agriculture.

BIA, through its subsidiary, Annam Corporation, will invest RM119 million in KLIC.

According to a press release from BIA, Annam Corporation is expected to hold up to a “40% stake” in “a joint-venture company”.

“The first phase of investment is expected to focus on development of the KLIC at a projected cost of RM119 million.”

Meanwhile, a posting on Sedia website has described Sedia as “wholly funded” by the federal government “from an allocation of the Prime Minister’s Department” (PMD).


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