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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Muhyiddin passes buck on cattle farm failure to Noh

October 29, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 — Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today there was no wrongdoing in the RM74 million “Beef Valley” falling more than 4,000 cows or 60 per cent short of its breeding target.

“There is nothing unusual or wrong. The audit found weaknesses which will be explained,” the deputy prime minister said of the Auditor-General’s Report on the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) which has been linked to family members of minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

The 2010 audit report found that the NFC, set up in 2008 when Muhyiddin (picture)was agriculture and agro-based industry minister, fell short of the target of 8,000 cows last year with only 3,289 head of cattle bred at the Gemas, Negri Sembilan farm.

Instead, Muhyiddin said his successor, Datuk Seri Noh Omar, would explain the matter.

PKR Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin had claimed on Tuesday that the NFC had failed despite being given a soft loan of RM250 million and a 5,000-acre plot of land.

The NFC is a joint venture between the Negri Sembilan and federal governments through the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry (MoA) to commercially produce more beef domestically and cut down imports of the meat.

Previous media reports showed the ministry picked a company called Agroscience Industries Sdn Bhd, owned by Shahrizat’s husband, Datuk Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail, to spearhead the project under a company called National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd (NFCorp).

Mohamad Salleh is also NFCorp’s executive chairman.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat’s three children, Izran, Izmir and Izzana, also play key roles in NFCorp, the Malay Mail reported on June 24 this year. Izran is CEO while his brother and sister are executive directors.

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