The opposition party claims that the ex-minister's husband and son are profiting from the hefty rents.
PETALING JAYA: PKR has claimed that Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s family is still profiting from hefty rents despite Putrajaya’s assurance that assets owned by the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) has been frozen to facilitate investigations for criminal breach of trust.
Party strategic director Rafizi Ramli alleged that the former minister’s family was cashing in on large rental yields from properties bought “using” taxpayers’ money meant for the national cattle breeding project and cast doubt over the sincerity of the probe.
The PKR leader said evidence obtained from the Land Office showed that NFCorp directors, Shahrizat’s husband Mohamad Salleh Ismail and the couple’s son Wan Izanur Izran, were still earning close to RM37,000 in monthly rents from their office lots in upscale Mont Kiara.
The office lots, bought using the RM250 million worth of federal funds injected into the NFC as leverage, were rented back to NFCorp, and taxpayers’ money was going straight into the pockets of Salleh and Wan Izanur.
Data from NFCorp’s finances showed the company would make scheduled monthly payments worth RM28,000 to Wan Shahinur and RM8,240 to Mohamad Salleh respectively.
Fat rent “Are the private purchases of the properties with rental yields collected from NFC funds and its subsidiaries had the approval from the board of directors? If not the two must be investigated for possible CBT,” Rafizi told a press conference here.
He said that the rent collected by Mohamad Salleh was 72% higher than market price, saying that with a 25-year mortgage for the RM814,550 unit, the rent should only be RM4,800 monthly.
“This is a very high profit taken from public funds,” said the 34-year-old.
The two units linked to Wan Izanur are used to host high-end restaurant Meatworks with the units costing RM8.4 million and RM5.7 million respectively. The restaurant is owned by Rear Food Company, a subsidiary of NFC, said Rafizi.
The PKR leader pointed out that this latest expose on the cattle breeding project scandal was “far more devastating” than those made in the past as Shahrizat’s family had blatantly violated laws to cash-in.
Gimmick Rafizi had led the charge in exposing the alleged abuse of funds meant for the NFC, including the purchase of luxury properties and premium land worth some RM70 million although the company denied any wrongdoing and claimed they were “sound investments”.
Fearing a potential voter backlash, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announced recently that all assets belonging to NFCorp would be frozen pending police investigations while Putrajaya said it will be offering a fresh tender to run the project.
Shahrizat on the other hand had decided not to seek renewal to her term as senator, forcing her to relinquish her women, family and community development minister post following pressure for her to quit after the scandal threatened to hamper the ruling coalition’s poll preparations.
But Rafizi said the new expose showed Najib’s announcement was only a political gimmick, saying the “temporary withdrawal” by Shahrizat was only aimed at containing public anger while she and her family continue to reap the profits off the NFC.
The PKR leader said the party will lodge a police report on the matter. Shahrizat’s husband is already being investigated for possible CBT.