NFCorp to file counterclaim against govt over RM253 million suit

National Feedlot Corporation director Mohamad Salleh Ismail (2nd left) and his son, Wan Shahinur Izmir (2nd right) at the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur in 2012. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd (NFCorp) will file a counterclaim against the government’s lawsuit to recover RM253.6 million from the company.

Senior federal counsel Mohd Radhi Abas said the company‘s lawyer Chong Kah Yee informed High Court judge S Nantha Balan today that NFCorp intended to put in a counterclaim.

“They also want to amend their defence statement filed on July 25. The court has given them until Sept 13 to amend the defence statement and put in their counterclaim,” he said.

Another senior federal counsel, Nurhafizza Azizan, said in view of these developments, the court would extend the lawsuit hearing by another three days.

“The additional trial dates are Feb 12 to 14 next year. Both the government and the company have seven witnesses each,” she said.

Nantha Balan previously set Jan 13, 14, 15, 17 and 20, 2020 as the trial dates.

The government sued NFC, its directors and subsidiary companies to reclaim RM253.6 million owed by them.

The directors named in the lawsuit are Mohamad Salleh Ismail and his children: Wan Shahinur Izran, Wan Shahinur Izmir and Wan Izzana Fatimah Zabedah.

The government is also seeking a court declaration that Salleh and his family are personally liable for the loan repayments, of which RM118 million was allegedly misappropriated, along with any undeclared profit and income that may have arisen as a result of their use, as well as Putrajaya’s right to claim the properties that were purchased through the loan.

The government said it entered into an agreement with NFC on Dec 6, 2007 to provide it with a RM250 million loan to set up and operate a national feedlot centre in Gemas, Negeri Sembilan.

After NFC’s request, the government said, the loan was disbursed under a special loan account in three stages between Jan 9, 2008 and March 31, 2009. From the loan, the government approved the withdrawal of RM180.51 million between Jan 24, 2008 and Jan 3, 2011.

It said of the total RM180.51 million, only RM8.32 million was paid to a third party to finance the national feedlot project, with the remaining RM172.2 million paid into NFC’s operations account at Malayan Banking Bhd.

The government also claimed that RM9.76 million of the loan was misused to pay for part of the purchase of two residential units at One Menerung Residence by National Meat & Livestock Corp, and another RM1.8 million to pay one Shamsubahrin Ismail for an undisclosed purpose.

It was also alleged in the lawsuit that Salleh used the loan to purchase two pieces of land in Putrajaya that cost between RM1.51 million and RM3.36 million, and that a certain amount was used to pay for the purchase of a four-storey shophouse at Solaris Mont Kiara.