Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Auditor-General kowtow to Perkasa, says no mess!

NFCorp boss says Auditor-General mixed up entities in audit

January 23, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 23 — National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) is not the entity criticised in the Auditor-General’s Report for being a mess, its chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail said today.

He said the audit had confused NFCorp, a private entity, with the National Feedlot Centre (NFC), which is owned by the Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Ministry.

File photo of the National Feedlot Centre in Gemas.

“There was crisscross between the two. NFC is a government company and NFCorp is a company that belongs to us...,” he told The Malaysian Insider via telephone from Mecca. “It was unfortunate for our company, for us and for my wife because the Auditor-General writes about government departments, never about companies.”

When asked why he had not clarified this earlier, Salleh explained that he had only realised the mix-up when investigations began on the centre and the company.

He said it was unfair for the media to demonise NFCorp and his wife, federal minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil, who has been dragged into the controversy.

“We are trying our best to do socio-economic development like what the government does and [it was] definitely not fair to attack my wife because my wife had really nothing to do with the project,” he said.

Yesterday, Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali urged the Auditor-General to clarify that NFCorp was not in a mess, following a meeting with Salleh.

During the meeting, which was also attended by 11 other non-government organisations (NGOs), Salleh said the Auditor-General’s Department had already agreed in private that the company’s affairs were in order.

Ibrahim said yesterday that the department may have made small mistakes when preparing the national audit report as not all staff there were trained equally well.

“When they did the report, there are [some] that were accurate and some not so accurate because of weaknesses of the officers,” he said.

Ibrahim, however, stressed that he was not siding with anyone and that he would leave it to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and police to carry out a proper investigation into NFCorp’s finances.

The publicly-funded company hit the headlines following last year’s Auditor-General’s Report, and has continued to hog the limelight after it was linked to Shahrizat’s family.

PKR has since made several revelations relating to the scandal, including NFCorp’s purchase of two luxury condominium units in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, and the alleged use of project funds to pay for Shahrizat and her family’s personal expenses.

The opposition party has also alleged that Shahrizat’s family used nearly RM600,000 from NFCorp’s funds to settle their credit card bills in 2009.

But the management of NFCorp has maintained that the credit card expenses were solely for business purposes.

It has also denied allegations that funds from the RM250 million government loan were channelled into its accounts before the loan agreement was signed.

Shahrizat applied for three weeks’ leave from her duties two weeks ago after new allegations of bribery surfaced.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced last week that the government would appoint an auditor to scrutinise NFCorp’s books in light of PKR’s accusations.

What Jahabar Sadiq, CEO / Editor, thinks of the NFC mess!

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