KUALA LUMPUR — Police reports have been lodged against MP for Pandan Mohd Rafizi Ramli and MP for Ampang Zuraida Kamaruddin who had deliberately abused, distorted, and exploited the Auditor General’s 2010 report through media statements that led to the businesses of National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd (NFCorp) and its related companies, ruined.
Media statements by the two PKR MPs based on conjecture and distortion had not only riled the public but it had also alarmed the government, financial and business communities, and led to the assets of NFCorp and its related companies frozen, and banking facilities withdrawn by financial institutions.
In uncovering evidence of the abuse, lawyers representing NFCorp and its related companies Wan Shahrizal, Hari & Co have advised chairman Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail to lodge the police reports as the Auditor General’s 2010 report had clearly spelt the performance of the Pusat Fidlot Nasional (PFN) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro Based Industry (MOA) and not NFCorp, a private limited company.
Rafizi Ramli and Zuraida Kamaruddin had in a news conference on 1 November 2011, misrepresented beef production expectations. Rafizi claimed that 330,000 heads of cattle were expected in 2010 when according to the Implementation Agreement signed between the Government and NFCorp, a cumulative 246,000 heads of cattle were only expected four years later in 2014 when the contract farmers under the Entrepreneur Development Programme (EDP) and NFCorp came into full swing.
The AG’s audit had been based on the parameters of the signed Implementation Agreement (see table enclosed) and not on overall statistics of a Government national policy posted on the web that Rafizi had plucked to defame and discredit NFCorp.
The Auditor General’s Report had reported that the PFN did not meet expectations but Rafizi, Zuraida and the opposition insisted that it was NFCorp that did not meet the expectations.
In the accusations, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil was also made to answer her role in NFCorp by the opposition for the PFN’s shortcomings. In May 2012, the MACC had cleared Datuk Seri Shahrizat and that she had nothing to do with the project. The opposition, in particular Rafizi and Zuraida, however continued to slander her in political ceramahs and statements despite an ongoing court case in which Datuk Seri Shahrizat is suing both Rafizi and Zuraida.
In Rafizi Ramli’s blog posted on 1 November 2011, Rafizi had said, “Oleh kerana Dato’ Seri Shahrizat Jalil masih belum bersuara dalam perkara ini, seperti yang dijanjikan minggu lepas, KEADILAN akan menganjurkan satu rombongan menjejaki lembu di Pusat Fidlot Kebangsaan pada hari Khamis 3 November 2011 dengan diketuai oleh YB Aminuddin Harun (ADUN Sikamat), Saudara T Kumar (Timbalan Setiausaha Agong) dan Saudara Fariz Musa (Ahli Majlis Pimpinan Pusat) untuk meninjau sendiri prestasi Pusat Fidlot Kebangsaan.
Lawyer Wan Shahrizal Wan Ladin said, “This move by Parti Keadilan to challenge the findings of the Auditor General Tan Sri Dato’ Setia Haji Ambrin Buang was high-handed. The AG had presented the facts and Rafizi had seen it fit to dispute the audit on PFN with an unauthorized visit to NFCorp’s premises in Gemas, Negeri Sembilan.”
The AG whose task is to audit only government ministries, departments and agencies, had relied on sources from the MOA for its audit on the PFN as stated in his 2010 report.
“Pengauditan ini meliputi aspek perancangan, pelaksanaan dan pemantauan terhadap projek PFN. Semakan terhadap dokumen dan fail yang berkaitan telah dilaksanakan di Bahagian Industri Tanaman, Ternakan Dan Perikanan dan Bahagian Pengairan Dan Saliran Pertanian, Kementerian serta Bahagian Pembangunan Komoditi Ternakan, Jabatan Perkhidmatan Veterinar (JPV). Di samping itu, temu bual dengan pegawai yang terlibat serta lawatan ke tapak PFN juga dilakukan.” (Appendix I)
National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd, a private limited company registered under the Companies Act 1965, was not and never audited by the AG whose jurisdiction did not include. Another company awarded the beef project Lamberts Agricultural Trade (M) Sdn Bhd, also a private limited company, was similarly not audited.
Wan Shahrizal added, “The deliberate distortions and manipulation created by the two and the opposition were politically motivated and aimed at outraging the public, derailing a national food security project to reduce beef imports, as well as jeopardising the creation of 310 contract farmers under the Entrepreneur Development Programme (EDP).
“It was also aimed at ridiculing and undermining the Prime Minister and his government, and at damaging the operations of NFCorp and its related companies. More importantly for the opposition, it was to bring down a Federal cabinet minister and UMNO Wanita chief who commands a voting population of 1.3 million members.”
“We have lodged police reports on Rafizi Ramli and Zuraida Kamaruddin, and will soon be issuing Letters of Demand to commence legal action for both to answer for the damage they have caused to the plaintiffs from abusing, distorting and exploiting the AG’s 2010 report,” added Wan Shahrizal Wan Ladin.
The AG’s news release issued 25 January 2012 had clarified, “Perkara yang menjadi fokus utama pengauditan prestasi yang dijalankan oleh JAN ialah pencapaian projek Pusat Fidlot Nasional (PFN) sejak penubuhannya pada tahun 2006 dan bukannya National Feedlot Corporation Sdn. Bhd. (NFCorp.) sebagai sebuah syarikat.” (Appendix II)
Despite the detailed clarity of the MOA’s PFN performance in the AG’s 2010 report, the opposition continued to mislead the public that NFCorp was to be blamed and held responsible.
Zuraida Kamaruddin insisted, “The entire national cattle-farming project is still in a ‘mess’, regardless of who said it. It’s still in a mess, whatever they say and going by the books,” (The Malaysian Insider – 26 January 2012).
Tan Sri Ambrin in his letter to NFCorp had written to clarify, “Jika dibaca keseluruhan LKAN 2010 itu, tidak ada pun disebut perkataan-perkataan seperti kucar kacir, ‘in a mess’ atau pun penyelewengan. Perkataan ini digunakan oleh pihak-pihak lain di luar kawalan Jabatan Audit Negara. Perkara ini telah saya jelaskan dalam kenyataan akhbar saya pada 25 Januari 2012.” (Appendix III and Appendix II)
Datuk Seri Dr Salleh said, “Rafizi and Zuraida capitalized on the AG’s report on PFN and abused it to attack NFCorp, and especially Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil for their political gain to win the GE13. The opposition’s blogs have also continued to slander her incessantly.”
In a separate matter, NFCorp and its chairman have filed a writ of summons in the High Court of Kuala Lumpur against Rafizi Ramli, Free Malaysia Today (FMT), its editor and reporter for defamatory remarks published in an article in FMT dated 9 July 2013 entitled ‘NFC’s RM163 million ‘burnt’.
Another suit against Rafizi Ramli and MalaysiaKini for defamation in respect to the purchase of KL Eco City properties had also been filed. Case management for this matter is set for 13 September 2013.
NFCorp Production Schedule
ABOUT PUSAT FIDLOT NASIONAL (NATIONAL FEEDLOT CENTRE)
The Pusat Fidlot Nasional (PFN) or National Feedlot Centre (NFC) was set up by the Government as a concept zone to meet the goals and objectives in accordance with the National Meat Policy (Ruminant Sector) 2006. They include to develop the National Feedlot Centre concept for commercial and integrated cattle feedlot farming; to establish a beef production system through contract farming with a sustainable and integrated chain of product marketing throughout Malaysia; and to establish an integrated supply chain for beef production involving downstream and upstream activities through companies such as National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd.
To facilitate the attainment of these objectives, the Government and National Feedlot Corporation agreed that the scope of the project would include NFCorp having the mandate to undertake and develop the Project including monitoring, guiding and nurturing contract farmers; subject to existing laws, both parties shall jointly facilitate free movement of any livestock cattle and/or beef for the project throughout Malaysia; and the parties shall cooperate with each other to encourage local cattle farming to progress towards self-sufficiency level of 40% of the total local beef production, increase local beef production in Malaysia, and consequently reduce the importation of sub standard beef so that it meets the objectives of the National Meat Policy.
The PFN/NFC’s success hinged on a government-built Export Quality Abattoir (EQA) capable of slaughtering 350 heads of cattle a day which according to the Auditor General’s 2010 Report had been suspended by the government in May 2009 pending the findings of an independent viability and business model study commissioned by the government. Without an EQA, the slaughter of cattle in large numbers was not possible.
According to the Auditor General, UPM Holdings was appointed to conduct the study in June 2009 which was completed and tabled to the government on 5 April 2011. To date, the government EQA has yet to be constructed to fulfill the aspirations of the government’s National Meat Policy (Ruminant Sector) 2006.