Rafizi Ramli to answer for wrongful allegations against NFCorp and its chairman

KUALA LUMPUR — Case management was called today at the Kuala Lumpur High Court before Justice Datuk John Louis O’Hara for the suit between plaintiffs National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd and its chairman Datuk Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail, and defendants PKR Strategy Director and MP for Pandan Mohd Rafizi bin Ramli and MKini Dotcom Sdn Bhd.

The matter will now proceed for further case management on 3 June 2014 at 4.00 pm at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

In their statement of claim, the plaintiffs seek for general damages, exemplary damages, aggravated damages, interest, costs and other appropriate reliefs from the court. The suit is for damages suffered by the plaintiffs as a result of lies, distortions, misrepresentations and fabrications, and the subsequent slander by the defendants.

Factual Backgrounder

According to NFCorp lawyers, Parti Keadilan Rakyat Strategy Director and MP for Pandan, Mohd Rafizi bin Ramli is to answer in the High Court at Kuala Lumpur for wrongful allegations made against National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd and its chairman (plaintiffs) when he lied, distorted and misrepresented confidential banking information to the utter detriment of the plaintiffs and their businesses.

Rafizi Ramli had on 7 March 2012 alleged at his news conference that chairman Datuk Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail 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 Ramli which resulted in public outrage and a severe loss of income.

Lawyer for the plaintiffs Hariharan Tara Singh said that “There could never have been any loan service defaults or arrears from March 2011 as alleged by Rafizi Ramli as the Sale & Purchase Agreements (SPAs) for the eight KL Eco City properties were only signed on 15 December 2011. This date underscored that there could never have been any loans taken or disbursed by any bank for the properties prior to the material time when the SPAs were signed.”

In underscoring the actual facts Hariharan added, “How could there have been any defaults in the servicing of non existent loans? Or any peril to the government loan deposit placed at the bank? What detrimental leverage from property loans would Rafizi Ramli be talking about?

“Therefore, Rafizi Ramli lied, distorted, misrepresented and fabricated to the public, and will now have to justify his allegations specifically on these matters in his defence in the High Court at Kuala Lumpur.”

To support the groundless accusations, Rafizi Ramli 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 the mainstream news media, the electronic media, and Internet news portals.

As a separate consequence, Rafizi Ramli together with Public Bank Berhad’s ex employee Johari bin 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 pending trial.

NFCorp lawyers said that if Rafizi Ramli 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.

NFCorp and its chairman had filed the legal suit against Rafizi Ramli and MKini Dotcom Sdn Bhd in the High Court at Kuala Lumpur on 3 June 2013.

MKini Dotcom Sdn Bhd through their Internet news portal MalaysiaKini had published and broadcast the wrongful allegations.