Umno’s Cow Dung, No wonder fall in graft index


Melissa Lee

In what appears to be shaping up to be a massive Umno cover-up, Deputy Inspector General of Police Khalid Bakar insists that investigations have so far not revealed any element of corruption in the RM250 million NFC debacle.

Khalid was seen to be doing “Umno-putra service” by suddenly making the comment that critics said was meant to assure Umno members  that Women’s Chief Shahrizat Jalil and her family were innocent of any graft in the cattle livestock project.

Khalid’s remarks and Umno’s strident defense of Shahrizat comes smack in the face of another sharp decline in the internationally-followed Corruption Perception Index. Malaysia fell to 60th position from 56 last year, and the result marked the third straight year of worsening on the widely-followed graft index.

“It is suspicious that on all days, Khalid would choose to reveal the progress of the police investigation on NFC today when the Umno AGM goes into full swing. It shows that Umno is still abusing the institutions especially the police to do their dirty work for them,” PKR vice president Tian Chua toldMalaysia Chronicle.

“As for the CPI, it is a real warning. Umno is dragging down the country. It is the source of the greatest corruption and its refusal to admit it and put a stop to it will bankrupt us all. It is not the Pakatan, as Muhyiddin claims, which is trying to accuse the BN of wrongdoing. The CPI results speak for themselves. The index is is managed by Transparency International, which is a well established organization.

“But to the Umno elite, there is corruption everywhere except in their party. Malaysians especially Malays must reject this sort of mentality and they must reject Umno for their own sakes. Till now, Umno defends Shahrizat and uses the police to make excuses for them and then lie to everyone that they are not guilty. It just shows how corrupt and immoral they have become.”

74 people interviewed

According to Khalid, the police have so far interviewed over 74 people in connection with the probe, including Shahrizat’s family although she herself has not been asked to give a statement.

“However, we are still continuing our investigation into the issue and will call the minister to record her statement if the need arises,” said Khalid.

The project was awarded to Sharizat’s husband and children in 2006 and the Auditor-General has warned that the project was in a “mess” and could downspiral even further. Shahrizat has denied any involvement in the scandal, saying NFC had “nothing to do with me” although few Malaysians would ever believe her family – which has no track record in cattle breeding – could have won the project without her influence.

PKR leaders have led the charge on NFC, which was launched to enable everyday Malaysians to buy beef at affordable prices. However, a shocking trail of revelations show that instead of using the RM250 million soft loan to set up satellite cattle farms and structure an effective distribution and supply chain, Shahrizat’s family allegedly bought two super luxury condos in Bangsar for RM6.9 million each, gave a RM3 million discount to a family-own firm, bought a Mercedes CLS350 and residential land in Putrajaya worth some RM3.3 million, channeled half a million ringgit to a family firm in Singapore, as well as paid huge sums to a tour agency for alleged family holidays.

Shahrizat’s husbang Salleh Ibrahim has not denied the transactions occured, but insisted there was no corruption and that all the deals had the approval of NFC. However, critics point out that it did not make sense for a pilot livestock breeding project to plumb for plush condos, a super-high-end Merc and upmarket residential land – not mention why were discounts given and holidays charged to public money.