Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wanita PKR tells Shahrizat to quit over cattle farm fiasco

Shahrizat yesterday said the controversy arising from the Auditor-General’s report was an agenda to “destroy Wanita Umno”.
A federal audit described the NFC project as being “in a mess”.Shahrizat yesterday said the controversy arising from the Auditor-General’s report was an agenda to “destroy Wanita Umno”. .

Wanita PKR told Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil today to leave politics if the minister truly cared about Wanita Umno, after the Auditor-General said a cattle farm run by her family using public funds is “in a mess”.

The Wanita Umno chief said yesterday attacks over the RM74 million National Feedlot Centre (NFC) were a political agenda by her PKR counterpart Zuraida Kamaruddin to “destroy Wanita Umno”.

But Zuraida, who is Ampang MP, told reporters today the minister of women, family and community development “should be above the rest of her Barisan Nasional (BN) and show that women have more credibility and integrity”.

“The honourable thing for her to do is to resign from government and leave politics given that there will be more exposés on this scandalous project.

“Only her resignation can save the honour of Wanita Umno members who have become embroiled in this scandal,” she said.

Zuraida had claimed that the NFC failed despite being given a soft loan of RM250 million and a 5,000-acre plot of land. Her party is to lodge a report over the matter with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) later this morning.

The PKR lawmaker also said she “sympathised with her (Shahrizat). But it is my duty as an elected representative to raise issues concerning public funds.”

“It is just too bad that it is Shahrizat. But as her political career only has ‘sisa-sisa (scraps)’” left, she should withdraw,” she added.

PKR has also alleged that over RM84 million was siphoned off from NFC to companies controlled by Shahrizat’s husband, Datuk Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail, and her children, Izran Mohamad Salleh and Izmir Mohamad Salleh.

The Auditor-General’s Report released last month had criticised the national cattle farming project, 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 Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Datuk Seri Noh Omar said on October 31 that the project is a success and had met its targets “as the total number of cattle brought into the farm was 8,016 between 2008 and 2010”.

He has also said that half of a RM13 million grant and RM115 million of the soft loan, to be repaid at a two per cent interest rate over 17 years, has not been disbursed to NFC.

Shahrizat was made a senator in 2008 after she lost her Lembah Pantai federal seat to Nurul Izzah Anwar.

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