No personal guarantee in loan to NFCorp, says PAC insider

Posted: January 30, 2012 at 2:13 am


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By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 — There was no personal guarantee involved
in the RM250 million government loan to the National Feedlot
Corporation (NFCorp), giving rise to the question who is
accountable to repay if the National Feedlot Centre (NFC)
project fails, a member of the Parliamentary Public Accounts
Committee (PAC) has confirmed.

This comes amid NFCorp’s recent remarks made on January 27,
where its management said that the government loan must be
repaid else “we will be declared bankrupt or locked up in
jail”.

“There was no personal guarantee involved, that’s what we were
told. It was a soft loan given to the company.

“As far as we are aware, nobody is held accountable,” a PAC
source told The Malaysian Insider.

“There were no proper guidelines drawn in the beginning as to
how the money was to be used... that is why it is now difficult
to establish any instances of monetary abuse,” the source
added.

NFCorp executive director Wan Shahinur Izmir Salleh had said on
Friday that “stories saying we are getting free money are
unreasonable.”

“RM250 million is a big amount. If we play around without
direction, my children’s future will be destroyed. For
centuries, we will be saddled with debt,” he said, looking
uncomfortable in front of attendees and reporters who had
waited for two hours for him to arrive.

“The loan agreement has been signed. If we don’t pay back, we
will be declared bankrupt or locked up in jail. We will pay
every sen plus interest. The question of misappropriation does
not arise,” said Wan Shahinur Izmir, who is minister Datuk Seri
Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s son.

PAC member Tony Pua told The Malaysian Insider that
the issue of a personal guarantee involving the loan was not
mentioned during any PAC meeting, and that many documents —
financial statements and loan agreements — have yet to be
presented to the PAC.

“I don’t remember anyone asking about personal guarantee. I
don’t think these loans will involve personal guarantee
though,” the DAP national publicity secretary said.

Another PAC member, PKR’s Datuk Kamarul Baharin Abbas, echoed
Pua’s remarks, saying that “as far as I know there were no
personal guarantees.”

He also said the PAC had yet to receive documents on the loan
for the cattle-farming project from NFCorp.

NFCorp, which is owned by Shahrizat’s family, had its assets
frozen recently to facilitate investigations by police and the
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) into allegations of
breach of trust in the project.

This came after a series of exposés by PKR, which claimed at
least RM27 million was used for land, property and expenses
unrelated to cattle farming by Wanita Umno chief Shahrizat and
her family.

The women, family and community development minister has since
sued PKR’s strategic director Rafizi Ramli and Wanita chief
Zuraida Kamaruddin over the claims.

“If NFCorp defaults on the loan, all assets belonging to the
company, infrastructure, condos will be taken by the
government,” said another PAC member, Datuk Abdul Rahman
Dahlan.

The Umno leader told The Malaysian Insider that the
public should not be too hasty in attacking NFCorp over its
condominium acquisitions, and that there “must be a reason why
the condos were bought.”

“It’s possible the condo generated income for the company, and
we must remember that the company is not in default. Let’s not
be quick to condemn them,” he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has rejected
calls from the opposition for a royal commission of inquiry
into the scandal, saying the police and MACC were capable of
handling the matter.

The federally-funded cattle-farming project was first coined a
“mess” in an article in a local daily after it made it into the
pages of the Auditor-General’s 2010 Report.

The term was later repeatedly reused by various media
organisations to describe the NFC after PKR launched a series
of exposés to show the project’s funds were being abused.

NFCorp, which was awarded the project in 2006, had thanked
Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang last week for clarifying
that he had not called the company a “mess” in his 2010 report,
saying the explanation would help strengthen public perception
of its operations.

The company said the Auditor-General’s statement on Friday
would help put to rest months of “tireless bashing from
hardline critics” against NFCorp, which operates the
scandal-ridden NFC project.

Shahrizat returns to ministerial duties on February 6 after
taking three weeks’ leave to allow the authorities to complete
their probes.

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No personal guarantee in loan to NFCorp, says PAC insider

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January 30th, 2012 at 2:13 am