PETALING JAYA, May 13 — PKR vice-president Mohd Rafizi Ramli today pledged to distribute the RM300,000 refund from winning a High Court appeal as an education scholarship disbursement for bright students from lower-income families.
He said all fees other than legal fees directed by the court will be refunded to the people in the form of an educational scholarship to university students at RM5,000 per person and Form 5 students at RM500 per person.
“The recipients will be selected among Malaysian students of various races who excel in their respective fields despite coming from low-income families,” said Mohd Rafizi.
He added that the refund is a small step towards recovering RM250 million from the NFC.
“While the RM250 million recovery process seems to be longer than it should be, I hope the returns will be paid by the plaintiff in the form of educational scholarships, as an initial step towards getting back the RM250 million of the rakyat’s money,” he said in a statement issued today.
Putrajaya High Court’s had earlier today ordered the National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd (NFCorp) executive chairman Datuk Mohamad Salleh Ismail to refund a total sum of RM300,000 that included the RM200,000 in damages and RM100,000 costs which were paid by Rafizi to him in a defamation case.
However, Mohd Rafizi said that his intention for the scholarship is pending the plaintiff’s appeal at the higher court.
“I am sure the plaintiff will make an appeal at the Federal Court. If I win (against the appeal), I will not take a single sen from whatever amount that is granted by the court in regards to the NFC case,” he said.
Mohd Rafizi pointed out that the money initially paid to Mohamad Salleh was crowdfunded by the public in July 2017.
The 41-year-old former Pandan MP explained that part of the amount will be used to settle legal costs to his lawyers, namely Ranjit Singh, Razlan Hadri Zulkifli, Ng Siau Sun and Michele Navinder Kaur.
“They had handled my court cases in regards to NFC for free (pro bono) since 2012,” said Mohd Rafizi, adding that after settling the legal costs, the money will be returned to the people as scholarships.
In 2013, Mohamad Salleh and NFCorp sued Mohd Rafizi claiming that he had made a defamatory statement on March 7, 2012 at a media conference at the PKR Office on the purchase of KL Eco City properties which was published by Malaysiakini on the same day.
On October 31, 2016, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur ordered Mohd Rafizi to pay RM150,000 in damages to Mohamad Salleh and RM50,000 in damages to NFCorp after allowing their suit against him.
Mohd Rafizi was also ordered by the High Court to pay RM100,000 costs to Dr Mohamad Salleh.
The High Court, however, dismissed Mohamad Salleh’s suit against Malaysiakini.