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Calling for NFC re-tender is in bad taste

 | August 15, 2012

PKR says moves to re-tender the National Feedlot Centre is not right as investigations are still going on.

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PETALING JAYA:  PKR today criticised Putrajaya’s move to re-tender the National Feedlot Centre project amid ongoing investigations on the operator have yet to give an assurance that the RM250 million scandal will be solved.

Party strategic director Rafizi Ramli said there are three major contentions to the move announced by Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Noh Omar on Aug 13, including the issue of collecting debts owed by National Feedlot Corporation.

He said that until today Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had failed to ensure that the move to freeze NFCorp’s assets will result in the collection of taxpayers’ fund allegedly misused to buy personal luxury properties while the independent audit has yet to table its report on the matter.

There is also no guarantee that NFCorp, run by family members of former federal minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, will repay all of its debt when a new contractor is appointed.

“I am adamant to demand that the government cannot appoint a new contractor until these three issues are resolved,” he told a press conference at the party’s headquarters here.

The PKR leader added that Najib, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Noh must also be responsible for getting a “personal guarantee” of full repayment of the RM250 million loan.

“I am not confident that the three are committed to collect the public funds judging from their half-baked actions all this while,” he said.

‘Najib protecting Shahrizat’

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NFCorp’s CEO Mohd Salleh Ismail is currently under police investigation for alleged criminal breach of trust in relation to the NFC scandal. He claimed innocence and together with his wife Shahrizat, filed a civil suit against Rafizi for defamation.

The issue, seen as a potential voter backlash for Najib and the ruling Umno, forced the government to discontinue Shahrizat’s senatorship and discharge her as minister.

And in January, the prime minister also vowed to launch a probe and froze NFCorp’s asset but opposition leaders alleged the announcements were merely designed to contain the public uproar with no intention to punish those involved.

Rafizi alleged today the NFC’s re-tendering move is also a ploy to erase NFCorp’s debt while at the same time enriching “new cronies”.

“They’re trying to get a win-win situation. Erase the debt and also make their new cronies rich,” he said, adding that Najib’s failure to ensure that NFCorp repays the RM250 million loan meant he is “doing his best to protect Shahrizat and her family”.


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