Thursday, November 17, 2011
The call made by Barisan Nasional (BN) backbenchers' deputy chief Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin, the BN's Kinabatangan Member of Parliament, for Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil to resign is unwarranted and uncalled for.
At a Press conference here yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar had already given a lengthy and comprehensive explanation following the National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd's (NFC) fiasco as revealed by the Auditor-General’s 2010 Report recently.
“Shahrizat is not directly involved in NFC because this is the company’s operational matter managed by her family. Whether Bung's comment is called for, it is up to him to figure it out himself," said Muhyiddin, also Education Minister, in coming to Shahrizat's defence.
“However, NFC should explain or give a statement because of the questions that has arisen from this issue. It is up to the company now to explain to the public so that the public will understand the situation on how it happened, how to resolve the issue and any issues pertaining to the livestock industry in response to the Auditor-General’s report.”
Bung mentioned the issue in passing during the debate on Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha’s winding-up speech on the Supply Bill 2012 on Monday. Bung made the comment when the topic veered into the AirAsia-Malaysia Airlines share swap deal.
“My position is very clear. Just like the feedlot issue. I agree that this is not the work of Umno. This is the work of individuals. To me, the person should be responsible. If I was in the person’s position, I would resign. The person is causing problems. Everything the person does ends up in ruins," Bung had said.
“Whatever that is not right, we must correct, even if the person is a minister from Umno. Who is the person? If the person is wrong, resigning is better than being a liability to Umno and BN. We must be firm because we administer this country based on justice.”
On Monday itself, Bung later confirmed that he was referring to Shahrizat, adding that “she should take responsibility and face the music”.
The Auditor-General’s report had noted that NFC's cattle farming project produced only 3,289 heads of cattle last year or 41.1 per cent of the target set.
Another controversy surfaced last week when Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution claimed the NFC used its funds to buy a RM9.8 million condominium at One Menerung in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.
The NFC is owned and run by Shahrizat's husband and their three children. The NFC executive chairman is Shahrizat's husband Datuk Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail, while their children, Izmir, 31, Izran, 27, and Izzana, 25, are its chief executive and executive directors, respectively.