'I will not be intimidated' Rafizi: Shahrizat's husband lied - he did take loan
PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli brushed off threats from disgraced NFC chairman Salleh Ismail to sue him and a bank for allegedly leaking the personal banking details of the NFC directors.
He also slammed Salleh, who has been charged for criminal breach of trust, for trying to wriggle out of his troubles by pointing the finger back at him and the bank.
"NFC's police report against me and the bank is an attempt to intimidate us so that I will stop digging further. While it is within their rights to do so, I will carry on exposing because they have not been made accountable for the money they took from the public," Rafizi told Malaysia Chronicle.
"This is also an attempt to turn the table around and put me and the whistleblowers on trial. The public will not be deceived, they know that the ones who have been spending the people's money lavishly are Shahrizat Jalil's family members."
Weak Najib ends up endorsing corruption
Rafizi was referring to Shahrizat, the Umno Women's chief. The NFC or National Feedlot Centre was granted to her husband Salleh and their 3 children to oversee in 2006. Salleh is the executive chairman of NFC, while the children are all directors.
Indeed, the manner in which Prime Minister Najib Razak has handled the RM250 mil NFC corruption debacle has been much criticized. Few Malaysians believe the PM has any real political will or courage to punish Shahrizat's family for abusing their power and mismanaging the national cattle breeding project.
For example, to appease public anger, Najib had rushed to declare he had frozen all NFC assets in the aftermath of a barrage of revelations from Rafizi and colleague Zuraidah Kamaruddin, the PKR Ampang MP.
The PKR leaders had exposed how the Shahrizats allegedly plundered from a RM250mil government soft loan to benefit themselves. But it later transpired that the PM had lied and the NFC was still operating "business as usual" under the Shahrizats' control.
Salleh lied about the loan - Rafizi
Till now, despite the charges pressed against Salleh, there has been little accountability sought by the authorities including the police and the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission for the string of properties Salleh and his children were accused of buying with loans raised from the NFC's cash pile placed with a few banks in the form of fixed deposits.
"I will extend full co-operation to the police and will not speculate on the outcome of the police report. Let the natural justice takes its course. Salleh's denial that he didn't take the loan to buy the properties at Eco city runs contrary to the banking documents," said Rafizi.
"I find it amazing that even when the bank documents have clearly indicated that he had taken loans, he has the audacity to deny it. If anything, I assume this is his way of getting me to disclose more banking documents so that he can lodge more police reports under BAFIA against me."
Rafizi was referring to the high-end shop-lot units in KL Eco City he had recently exposed were corruptly bought by Salleh and children. But according to Salleh, "there never was any loan".
"(Rafizi) misled the media and public with his deliberate distortion of the facts. There never was any loan taken for the KL Eco City investments. (Rafizi’s) statements (were) founded on a combination of distortion of facts, cherry-picked figures and outrageous lies,” Salleh said in a statement issued on Thursday.
Making use of the Bafia to intimidate me - Rafizi
Salleh also said his company would be taking legal action against the bank for having “failed to comply with the demands of the companies and directors”. NFC has also lodged a formal complaint with central Bank Negara against the bank on the same matter.
Additionally, 2 separate police reports were also lodged against Rafizi and the bank for contravening the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (Bafia) 1989.
“It is believed this is the first ever in Malaysia’s banking history that the public distribution and display of private and confidential details of 21 entities had been made without the authorised consent of the entities and directors,” said Salleh.
To stay the course until the people's money is recovered
However, Rafizi is undeterred, promising to continue investigating until every cent of the NFC's RM250mil was returned to the people.
"We will stay on course and keep the focus to bring accountability and fair closure to the scandal," said the PKR leader.
Apart from the latest lawsuit, Shahrizat has also slapped on a RM100mil defamation suit against Rafizi and Zuraida, who have counter-accused her of trying to use the courts to gag them.
Shahrizat has been replaced by Najib as the Women's minister, but is still the head of the Umno Women's wing.