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‘Whistleblower charged to protect the guilty’

 | June 29, 2012

PKR says the AG’s office and MACC are trying to absolve Shahrizat’s husband of blame in the NFCorp scandal.

PETALING JAYA: PKR today accused the authorities of attempting to absolve National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) chairman Mohamad Salleh Ismail from blame in the scandal involving the company.

N Surendan, one of the party’s vice-presidents, said the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) were making a scapegoat of business consultant Shamsulbahrin Ismail by dragging him to court with four charges.

“Shamsulbahrin is a whistleblower in the case,” he told reporters. “While Salleh is given special treatment, Shamsulbahrin is slapped with four counts of trying to cheat the NFC chairman.”

Through a series of dramatic exposé beginning last year, PKR has accused NFCorp of mismanaging RM250 million in public funds meant for the national feedlot project, which is aimed at reducing Malaysia’s dependence on beef imports.

Surendran said the charges against Shamsulbahrin were themselves proof that Salleh had attempted to bribe the police to cover up the NFCorp scandal.

“All four charges against him say that Shamsulbahrin had deceived Salleh into providing hundreds of thousands to pay police officers at the Commercial Crimes Division in Bukit Perdana to close the case,” he said.

“Never before in my life have I seen such a charge sheet from the AGC.”

NFCorp is owned by the family of former Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

Salleh is Shahrizat’s husband. Last March, he was charged with criminal breach of trust involving RM9,758,140 in his capacity as the NFCorp chairman. According to the charge, he used the money to purchase condominium units in Bangsar and Taman Tun Dr Ismail.

He was also accused of transferring RM40 million into the account of National Meat & Livestock Corporation Sdn Bhd, a company where he and one of his sons serve as directors.

Shahrizat eventually resigned from her Cabinet position.

Calling it a desperate attempt to protect an Umno leader’s family, Surendran said it was against public policy to charge a whistleblower like Shamsulbahrin for exposing the scandal.

PKR supreme council member Latheefa Koya also spoke at today’s press conference. She said it was clear that the authorities were trying to silence Shamsulbahrin in order to protect the guilty.

“What if Shamsulbahrin was an undercover agent trying to probe elements of graft?” she said. “It’s absurd. Are they trying to say that Salleh was tricked into bribing the police?”


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