The Truth Revealed

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The NFC Saga continues: Whistleblower gives MACC the evidence

Teoh El Sen | March 7, 2012-www.freemalaysiatoday.com

Businessman Shamsubahrin Ismail says the evidence will prove that NFC Corp chairman Mohamad Salleh had asked him to bribe the Police.

PUTRAJAYA: Businessman Shamsubahrin Ismail handed over evidence that allegedly proves that National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) chairman Mohamad Salleh Ismail asked him to bribe the Police to “close” the controversial National Feedlot Centre case.

He arrived at the Putrajaya Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters around 12.15pm accompanied by four lawyers, including PKR vice-president N Surendran and PKR legal bureau head Latheefa Koya.

He came out at around 3.10p.m. and spoke to reporters. He had handed over to MACC a handphone, some documents including transcripts of SMSes and had a brief statement recorded as well.

“The reason I came to MACC is just to hand over the evidence of what transpired between me and Mohamad Salleh. The evidence will show that I have not cheated him. So now I will leave it to MACC to do a fair and good investigation,” Shamsubahrin, sporting a shaved head, said.

“I am innocent. If not, I will not reveal all the evidence (today),” he added.Asked if he could reveal more details of what happened, such as whether money was actually handed to the Police, Shamsubahrin replied:”I think you wait for MACC’s investigation. I don’t want to say things here while they work on the case.”

Meanwhile, Surendran said that the evidence surrendered today was “clear and solid proof of attempts to bribe the police” and supported his client’s earlier police report made in Klang.

Surendran said the case, which he considered as an attempt to give gratification, should be swiftly acted upon, and MACC should not drag its feet.

“They actually had the phone with them previously. Why instead of taking action then, the whistleblower, Shamsubahrin was slapped with not one but three charges?

“This shows the continuous abuse of prosecution and enforcement powers in this country. The whistleblower is penalised, the real culprits walk free,” he said.

Lawyers barred when statement recorded

Surendran also complained that MACC had prevented lawyers from sitting with Shamsubahrin while his statement was taken, resulting in a “stand-off” lasting 45 minutes.

“This shows the high-handed manner of MACC work. They have no respect for the law, no respect for his right to have lawyers present,” he said, adding that he would bring this up with the Bar Council.

Surendran said the lawyers had, under protest, agreed to stand beyond ear-shot but within view of their client.

“But we say these are unnecessary technicalities as we didn’t want to allow our client such risk after the deaths of Teoh Beng Hock and Ahmad Sarbaini. We must remember that Teoh would still be alive today if his lawyer was allowed in,” Latheefa had said.

Shamsubahrin was also represented by lawyers Afifuddin Ahmad Hafifi and Siti Maspuah Maulan.

On December 30, Shamsubahrin, 45, was charged with two counts of cheating Mohamad Salleh of RM1.76 million for “negotiation and consultation services” that which he did not deliver.

Mohamad Salleh is the husband of Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil. The “services”, while not specified in court, were widely speculated to be for the closing of the NFC case.

Shamsubahrin was also charged, while he was warded at the Klang Hospital, with two separate counts of cheating not related to the NFCorp.

On Jan 30, PKR disclosed a police report lodged by Shamsubahrin in which he claimed that Mohamad Salleh had pressured him to bribe police investigators to close the case on NFCorp.

Scapegoat

Shamsubahrin had claimed in the report that he actually had refused to do so as his job scope was only as a consultant. However, he had told Mohamad Salleh he would settle the matter.

Shamsubahrin’s report also claimed that he had been used as a “scapegoat to save Mohamad, his wife Shahrizat and NFCorp’s reputation.”

Shamsubahrin claimed that investigations against him and the charges he was facing were “politically motivated” as they were without basis.

“I am making a report against Mohamad Salleh for cheating me by appointing me as a ‘corporate adviser and consultant’ for NFCorp on Nov 24, 2011 and Nov 28, 2011, but at the same time had made me to believe that the appointment was true, genuine and sincere,” Shamsubahrin stated in the report.

“However, I received instruction and pressure to close the NFCorp case with the police… Mohamad Salleh had, via SMSes and phone, asked me to bribe the police,” stated Shamsubahrin, who claimed he had proof of the conversation.

“Then I was charged with cheating Mohamad Salleh. That’s not true at all because the RM1.755 million which was paid in stages was for my consultation services,” he added.Shamsubahrin would be tried in the Sessions Court on April 4.

The NFCorp issue came to light in October last year after the 2010 Auditor-General’s Report revealed that the RM250-million cattle breeding project had failed to fulfil the objectives of its formation, which was to reduce beef imports.

While Mohamad Salleh headed NFCorp, his three children were directors in the company. Opposition parties, particularly PKR, had made a series of documented exposés linking Shahrizat to allegations of abusing state funds meant for the project.

NFCorp had been accused of misusing parts of the RM250million government soft loan to purchase high-class condominiums, premium land and a luxury car as well as expenses unrelated to cattle farming.

Police are investigating if NFCorp had committed criminal breach of trust, and the MACC, too, is looking into the possibility of “abuse of power” in the corporation.

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