Challenge on BAFIA charge, a delay tactic by Rafizi Ramli, says NFCorp

KUALA LUMPUR — Pandan MP and PKR secretary-general RafiziRamli’s move to challenge the constitutionality of the repealed BAFIA banking law he was charged with violating in his exposés on the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) in 2012, is a futile attempt to avoid conviction.

“This application to challenge BAFIA is actually an attempt by Rafizi to delay the trial of the charges against him and Public Bank Berhad clerk Johari Mohamad and thus by extension, delaying and denying NFCorp and my entitlement to justice and punishment on the very people who had wronged NFCorp and me,” said Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Salleh, Chairman of NFCorp.

“I have consulted my lawyers and have been advised that it is pointless for Rafizi to challenge the constitutionality of BAFIA as the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court had unanimously opined and ruled that the charges against Rafizi under BAFIA are not mala fide, oppressive or politically motivated. Hence Rafizi’s application is certainly redundant and res-judicata as the Courts had already decided on the said issue before.

“I am sure that he is certainly afraid to face the charges against him in view that he clearly lied, distorted and misrepresented confidential banking information by exposing such and breaking banking laws. And he knows that he is certainly guilty of such and he is not a whistleblower.

“I believe that if he is convicted, he would be disqualified as a member of parliament and that is something he is trying to avoid and delay.”

RafiziRamli together with Public Bank Berhad’sex employee Johari Mohamad were arrested and charged at the Shah Alam Sessions Court on 1 August 2012 for violating Section 97 (1) of the Banking and Financial Institutions Act, 1989 (BAFIA). The case is now awaiting commencement of trial.

NFCorp lawyers said that if RafiziRamli is found guilty, he could be liable to a fine of up to RM3 million and a three-year imprisonment, and he could also lose his MP status.

In a separate legal suit, RafiziRamli is to answer in the High Court at Kuala Lumpur for wrongful allegations made against NFCorp, its companies and its chairman (plaintiffs) when he lied, distorted and misrepresented this same confidential banking information to the utter detriment of the plaintiffs and their businesses.

RafiziRamli had on 7 March 2012 alleged, lied, distorted, misrepresented and fabricated to the public at his news conference that chairman Datuk Dr Salleh had defaulted on the servicing of loans for eight KL Eco City office lots with arrears from March 2011 to February 2012, and therefore, was apt to jeopardize a government loan deposit placed at the bank.

However, according to documents tendered in court, no loans had ever been taken by the plaintiffs from Public Bank Berhad for the purchase of the KL Eco City properties that formed the basis of the false accusations hurled by Rafizi which resulted in public outrage and a severe loss of business income.

To fortify his groundless accusations, Rafizi had distributed 21 Public Bank Berhad accounts of NFCorp and its group of companies, as well as the personal accounts of the chairman and directors to mislead the mainstream news media, the electronic media, and Internet news portals.

The trial of the legal suit brought by NFCorp and its chairman against RafiziRamli is scheduled for October 2015.