Monday, November 14, 2011

MACC passes buck on cattle condo to cops

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has refused to probe the controversial RM10 million purchase of a condominium by a federally-funded cattle project, claiming today the issue is a police matter.

In a statement here, the graft-busting agency said the matter has been classified as an offence under the Penal Code, which does not come under its jurisdiction.

“MACC confirms receiving a public complaint on the RM9.8 million purchase, said to be made using the National Feedlot Centre’s (NFC) funds.

“This complaint was referred to the legal and prosecution division.

“Upon studying the complaint, the division classified it as an offence under the Penal Code and not under the MACC’s powers as enshrined under the MACC Act 2009,” the agency said in a statement made available on its website.

The agency said it has referred the case to the police, adding that this was in line with advice from the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board to only investigate offences under the MACC Act.

“In referring the case to the police, due action has been taken. The complainant has also been informed and has agreed with MACC’s decision,” the agency added.

PKR was first to claim of corruption in the purchase of the multi-million ringgit condominium belonging to the National Meat and Livestocks Corporation (NMLC), a company wholly-owned by Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil’s family.

Its secretary-general, Saifuddin Nasution, said the luxury apartment at One Menerung, Bangsar, was recorded by NFC, a cattle-farming project managed by the minister’s family, as part of a RM83 million “loan” to NMLC.

But Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin savaged the party for the allegations, claiming the condo was bought as an investment when the NMLC found itself with excess funds when the government ran out of funds to develop satellite cattle farms.

It then decided on real estate investment as a means to put the excess liquidity to work.

Khairy also claimed the condo had appreciated in value since it was purchased. He did not, however, specify the rental yield.

Many real estate experts have concluded that Kuala Lumpur is facing a glut of luxury properties, with rental yields falling as much as 50 per cent in some cases.

The Auditor-General’s Report released last month had criticised the NFC, pointing out that it was now “in a mess”. The report said production in 2010 was only 3,289 head of cattle or 41.1 per cent of the target set.

But Agriculture Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar responded on October 31 that the project was a success and had met its targets.

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