MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Monday, January 30, 2012

‘NFCorp chairman asked me to bribe cops’

Businessman Shamsubahrin Ismail claims he was instructed and under pressure to close the case with the police.
PETALING JAYA: National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) chairman Mohamad Salleh Ismail had repeatedly asked businessman Shamsubahrin Ismail to help the former bribe police investigators to close the case on NFCorp, but the latter was reluctant to do so.
This was stated in a police report by Shamsubahrin which was lodged last Friday, a copy of which was produced by PKR leaders at a press conference here today.
On Dec 30, Shamsubahrin, 45, was charged with two counts of cheating Mohamad Salleh of more than RM17 million for “negotiation and consultation services”.
Mohamad Salleh is the husband of Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.
Last Friday, Shamsubahrin was also charged, while he was warded at the Klang Hospital for treatment of clogged arteries and diabetes, with two separate counts of cheating not related to the NFCorp.
One was for cheating a taxi driver of RM90,000 to invest in a non-existent company and the other for cheating a woman of RM13,000 as service to obtain maids.
PKR vice-president N Surendran and Latheefa Koya are now representing Shamsubahrin as lawyers.
Surendran said that Shamsubahrin, after he was charged on Friday, lodged the report against Mohamad Salleh, claiming that he has been used as a “scapegoat to save Mohamad, his wife Shahrizat and NFCorp’s reputation”.
‘False appointment’
Shamsubahrin claimed that the investigations against him and the charges he is facing are “politically motivated” as they are without basis.
“I am making a report against Mohamad Salleh for cheating me by appointing me as a ‘corporate adviser and consultant’ for NFCorp on Nov 24, 2011 and Nov 28, 2011, but at the same time had made me to believe that the appointment was true and genuine and sincere,” Shamsubahrin stated in the report.
“However, it was actually a false appointment and I was made a scapegoat in the NFCorp scandal,” wrote Shamsubahrin.
He also said that after his appointment, he had started taking steps to “clean up the problems within the NFCorp”.
“I had suggested a ‘blueprint’ to show and explain the business processes of NFCorp and Mohamad Salleh instructed me to speak to the police about the investigations on NFCorp. I was told to explain about the business process,” said Shamsubahrin.
He added that he then dilligently met with the the police several times together with Mohamad Salleh to talk about the process of purchasing cows and so on.
“However, I had received instruction and pressure to close the NFCorp case with the police… Mohamad Salleh had, by SMSes and phone, asked me to bribe the police,” said Shamsubahrin, who claimed he has proof of the conversation.
He claimed that he was reluctant to do so but simply told Mohamad Salleh that he would try to help settle the matter.
“Then I was charged with cheating Mohamad Salleh. That’s not true at all because the RM1.755 million which was paid in stages was for my consultation services.”
Real culprit
Meanwhile, Surendran said the police report was lodged only when Shamsubahrin’s lawyers obtained a court order to allow him to do so on Friday.
“His claims are backed up by SMSes and other evidence and records. What do they (NFCorp) have to say about this now? We are highlighting the abuse of power by the authorities: for failing to bring charges against the right person and trying all means to silence one who is now being made a scapegoat,” said Surendran.
He said his client wants to tell the whole country what really happened but now also “fears for his safety”.
“They are going all out against him: intimidating and silencing him when the real culprit is walking free. NFCorp itself wants to close the case,” said Surendran, who claimed to have seen the SMS messages implicating Mohamad Salleh.
Surendran asked why there was “strangely” no action from the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) when they had the SMS evidence with them all this while.
The NFCorp issue came to light in October last year after the 2010 Auditor-General’s Report revealed that the RM250-million cattle breeding project had failed to fulfil the objectives of its formation, which was to reduce beef imports.
It has been widely quoted that the report called the project a “mess” due to mismanagement. However, following NFCorp’s recent protest over the use of the term, the A-G has clarified that it has not used the term “mess” in its report but reiterated that the project was mismanaged.
While Mohamad Salleh heads the NFCorp, his three children are directors in the company.
Opposition parties, particularly PKR, then began a series of documented exposé linking Shahrizat to allegations of abusing state funds meant for the project.
The party claimed that at least RM27 million was used to purchase high-class condominiums, premium land and a luxury car as well as expenses unrelated to cattle farming by Shahrizat and her family.
PKR also recently alleged that Shahrizat’s family had used nearly RM600,000 from NFCorp’s funds to settle their credit card bills in 2009.
NFCorp has for the past month been aggressively denying the allegations, regularly issuing press statements to counter what the company claims are “misleading” allegations.
On Jan 14, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announced that NFCorp’s assets have been frozen pending various concurrent investigations, including the MACC and the police.
Police are investigating if NFCorp had committed criminal breach of trust, and the MACC, too, is looking into the possibility of “abuse of power” in the corporation.
It was reported that their probes are at its end stages.
Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced last week that the government would appoint an auditor to scrutinise NFCorp’s books.
Shahrizat will return to her ministerial duties on Feb 6 after taking three weeks’ leave to facilitate MACC and police investigations into her possible involvement in the NFCorp case.
Shahrizat has tried to deflect attention by stating she is “only the wife” of the national cattle farming project’s chairman and has nothing to do with the NFCorp.
PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli and its Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin, who made a number of allegations, have been sued by Shahrizat over the claims of corruption.

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