Why sue us when we offered to repay loan, asks NFCorp chairman

National Feedlot Corporation chairman Mohamad Salleh Ismail. (Bernama pic.)

PETALING JAYA: National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) chairman Mohamad Salleh Ismail today questioned the suit filed by the Attorney-General’s Chambers to recover a RM253 million loan given to the company, saying it had offered to repay it in full seven months ago.

However, Salleh, the husband of former Wanita Umno chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, said he would cooperate with the government to ensure the issue was resolved in the best way.

“I am confident that, under the leadership of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, this issue will achieve a resolution where NFCorp will repay the outstanding amount of the loan to the government, and the aspirations of the project that is full of potential can be fulfilled,” he added in a statement.

The government filed the suit in the Kuala Lumpur High Court last Friday to recover a RM253.6 million loan to NFCorp, managed by Salleh’s family members.

In its statement of claim, it named Salleh, the couple’s three children and six companies owned by the family as defendants.

A case management has been fixed before deputy registrar Rumaizah Baharom on June 17.

The other family members named as defendants in the suit are former NFCorp CEO Wan Shahinur Izran and directors Wan Shahinur Izmir and Wan Izzana Fatimah Zabedah.

The six companies named as defendants are National Meat & Livestock Corp Sdn Bhd, Real Food Co Sdn Bhd, Meatworks Corp Sdn Bhd, Agroscience Industries Sdn Bhd, Asian Bioscience Corp Sdn Bhd and Techknowlogy Imageware (M) Sdn Bhd.

The RM253.62 million claimed against NFCorp and Salleh’s family represents the sum owed to the government, together with interest at 2% per annum and default interest on RM224.77 million.

In the statement of claim, Putrajaya is also seeking a declaration to have Salleh’s family personally liable for the debt repayment of RM118.04 million allegedly misappropriated from the loan and secret profits arising from it.

Putrajaya said it is also entitled to claim equitable title to the properties bought using NFCorp’s RM250 million loan from the government.

The government said in December 2007, it entered into an agreement with NFCorp to grant a RM250 million loan to partially finance to set up and operate a national feedlot centre in Gemas, Negeri Sembilan.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng last month said the government would sue NFCorp and Shahrizat’s family to repay the loan.

The Auditor-General’s Report in 2011 exposed the scandal surrounding NFC along with the involvement of Shahrizat’s family in the project.

Shahrizat stepped down as women, family and community development minister in April 2012.

Salleh was earlier charged with two counts of two criminal breach of trust involving RM49.7 million but was acquitted in November 2015.