High Court postpones govt’s suit against NFC as Senior Federal Counsel undergoes Covid-19 quarantine

The trial of the Malaysian Government’s suit against NFC has been postponed as Senior Federal Counsel Azizan Md Arshad is undergoing Covid-19 home quarantine. — Reuters pic
The trial of the Malaysian Government’s suit against NFC has been postponed as Senior Federal Counsel Azizan Md Arshad is undergoing Covid-19 home quarantine. — Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 — The trial of the Malaysian Government’s suit against National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) which had been fixed for today until Thursday at the High Court here has been postponed as Senior Federal Counsel Azizan Md Arshad is undergoing Covid-19 home quarantine.

In the suit, NFC as one of the defendants is required to repay RM253.6 million in loan and interest for the setting up and operation of a national feedlot centre in Gemas, Negri Sembilan.

Laywer Datuk K.Kirubakaran representing the defendants said the plaintiff had applied for the trial to be postponed as Azizan had to undergo 14-day quarantine following his return from Sabah after attending a case in the Kota Kinabalu Court.

“Judicial Commissioner Anand Ponnudurai allowed the application and set November 4 to 6 and February 22 to 26, 2021 for the hearing to continue,” he said when met by reporters after the proceeding in Anand’s chambers today.

Also present was Federal Counsel Mohd Ashraf Abd Hamid, acting on behalf of the Malaysian Government.

Kirubakaran said the defence would call five witnesses to testify.

The trial began on January 13 with five plaintiff witnesses completed giving their evidence, while the last witness, an auditor of a private company, has yet to be called to testify.

NFC is managed by the husband and three children of former women, family and community development minister Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

In its claim, the government as the sole plaintiff, named the NFC as the first defendant, while Shahrizat’s husband, Datuk Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail, and their three children, Wan Shahinur Izran, Wan Shahinur Izmir and Wan Izzana Fatimah Zabedah, are the second to fifth defendant, respectively.

Other defendants are six companies controlled by Mohamad Salleh’s family, comprising National Meat & Livestock Corporation Sdn Bhd, Real Food Corporation Sdn Bhd, Meatworks Corporation Sdn  Bhd, Agroscience Industries Sdn Bhd, Asian Bioscience Corporation Sdn Bhd, and Techknowlogy Imageware (M) Sdn Bhd.

The government entered into an agreement with NFC on December 6, 2007 for a RM250 million loan, a portion of which was used to fund the establishment and operations of the National Feedlot Centre, in line with the government’s policy to develop and advance beef production and beef products.

The loan was disbursed by the government to NFC in three tranches.

Mohamad Salleh’s family made 10 withdrawals totalling RM180.51 million from January 24, 2008 to January 3, 2011.

Of the RM180.51 million withdrawn, only RM8.32 million was paid directly to third parties to conduct the National Feedlot Centre project. The balance of the withdrawn funds was transferred to other NFC accounts and a total of RM118.04 million from this balance was allegedly misused.

Included in the alleged misuse of funds is a total of RM9.76 million which was allegedly used to purchase one of two units at One Menerung Residence. This was allegedly conducted by the sixth defendant, the National Meat & Livestock Corp.

At the same time, it is alleged that a total of RM300,000 was used to make payment to an individual named Shamsubarin Ismail for undisclosed purposes and an additional RM1.8 million was paid to the same individual.

Mohamad Salleh’s family also allegedly used the funds loaned from the government to settle monthly rental amounting to RM28,000 for an office lot at Solaris Mont Kiara.

Other alleged expenditure made with the loaned money included the purchase of two plots of land in Putrajaya, payment to two legal firms and the purchase of a four-storey shop house in Solaris Mont Kiara. — Bernama

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