Najib has ‘forfeited his right to govern’

Former de facto Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim is of the opinion that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has made a mistake in dismissing the National Feedlot issue.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Kita chief, Zaid Ibrahim believes that Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak’s, defence of the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) fiasco is an indication that his time is up.

“Najib should have done the sensible thing and admitted that the whole NFC issue was a mistake.

“That’s how a reformist government would react.”

“You don’t give a project worth a few hundred million ringgit to a minister and say its because no one wants it. If no one wants it then don’t start the project,” Zaid said during an interview with FMT yesterday.

The NFC project is being run by the husband and children of  Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

The recent  Auditor-General’s Report described the NFC project as a “mess” and since then PKR has exposed details of alleged business and financial mismanagement within NFC.

Najib however has dismissed allegations of abuse of power in the federal government’s RM250 million soft loan to NFC.

‘Gives govt a bad image’

But Zaid stressed the irrelevance of debating business technicalities when very act of awarding the project to a federal minister’s family was in itself unprincipled.

“If you can give RM200 million or RM300 million to one minister, you could have probably given the same to other ministers as well…

“It gives the government a bad image and Najib made a mistake by saying it is above board because it is not,” said Zaid.

Zaid added that even if the minister was the most capable and the project was objectively evaluated no one would have believed it.

He said Najib’s failure to respond to the issue has as such given the opposition its ammunition.

“And this issue would last quite awhile,” he warned.

“People cannot tolerate case after case of blatant abuse.”

“When you give a minister a project like this and say nothing is wrong, then your time is up because you can no longer differentiate between what is right and wrong.

“And so you forfeit your right to govern,” Zaid said

Govt has explained

Kota Belud MP, Abdul Rahman Dahlan, also acknowledged as a ‘valid concern’ the  awarding of the project to a federal minister.

But he emphasized that the project was done via a tender process and not through direct negotiations.

“Six companies submitted a bid and two were ultimately chosen – NFC and Australia’s Lambert Corporation.

“When Lambert withdrew halfway (through) it affected the project timeline hence why NFC couldn’t meet the production target,” he said.

Rahman also shot down the opposition’s allegation of mismanagement within NFC and insisted that everything had been done in order.

“The government and backbenchers have provided constant and dependable replies.

“And (Rembau MP) Khairy (Jamaluddin) has provided a very good explanation on his blog regarding the condo,” he said refering to the controversial RM9.8 million condominium in Bangsar.