Thursday, May 17, 2012
NFC denies hunting down whistleblowers
The National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) today rebuked PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli for accusing it of hunting downwhistleblowers.
The ongoing investigation into former Public Bank clerk Johari Mohamad involves him, his employer and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), NFC said in a statement today.
"NFC is not involved in the investigations by the authorities," it said, referring to the ongoing probe into alleged contravention of the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (Bafia) 1987.
In its complaints to Public Bank, BNM and the police following Rafizi's public disclosure of the NFC directors' bank account details, NFC said it made no mention of any specific bank employee.
"Johari Mohamad also confirmed that he had never met with (NFC chairperson) Mohamad Salleh Ismail and similarly, Salleh said he had never met or known of Johari Mohamad," it added.
"This puts down Rafizi's claim that (Salleh) had continuously been harassing Public Bank Bhd and BNM to hunt down Johari Mohamad."
It added that Johari could not really be a whistleblower if all he allegedly did was to release private bank documents in relation to Rafizi's "false claim of the KL Eco City loan which was not taken".
"(Rafizi) as a professionally-trained accountant and a member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants cannot declare his ignorance of the provisions of Bafia and cannot use confidential bank information for his personal or political agenda," the statement said.
The fact that Rafizi had released to media Public Bank's notice to Johari on the domestic inquiry, which was marked private and confidential, also showed Rafizi's disrespect for Bafia.
Johari, who has resigned from Public Bank, maintains his innocence.
Exposes and court cases
Rafizi had on Monday accused NFC of hunting down whistleblowers by initiating investigations against those who leaked information revealing luxury property purchases of Salleh and his family.
He had in March revealed banking documents that he argued showed the NFC directors had used their control of the RM250 million government soft loan as leverage to obtain loans for private property purchases.
NFC has since clarified that it was offered the loan but turned it down, negating Rafizi's claims and lodging several complaints with the authorities on the matter.
The complaints were lodged on the dates when Salleh was supposed to be performing the umrah in Mecca, which he had told the court were among the reasons why he needed his passport back.
Salleh is facing trial on two charges of criminal breach of trust and two charges of violating the Companies Act, involving NFC funds. The company did not explain why Salleh was not in Mecca on those dates.
NFC was given the loan for the National Feedlot Centre project to produce beef for the nation, which the auditor-general found was not meeting its targets.
Salleh, the husband of former women, family and community development minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, runs NFC and its associate companies with his three children.
The family has initiated legal action against and has been counter-sued by Rafizi and PKR Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin for previous exposes relating to NFC.