MACC probing Shahrizat

(The Star) – The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is investigating whether Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil had played any part in the award of the RM250mil loan to the National Feedlot Corpo­ration (NFC), of which her husband is the executive chairman.

Sources said MACC officers were checking to ascertain if she had influenced, took part in the project or whether she had a hand in the loan award.

They said the commission had started its investigations into the matter after the NFC issue was highlighted in the Auditor-General’s 2010 Report.

The report indicated that the project had not met targets set by the Government.

It is learnt that MACC officers had visited the project site as well as the NFC office and interviewed Shah­rizat’s husband Datuk Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail as well as several other people connected to the NFC project.

Meanwhile, MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Abu Kassim Mohamed said the commission had been investigating “grand corruption all the way” and denied that it was only combating petty corruption.

“Our responsibility is to investigate and we have been doing so regardless of the person’s status,” he said at the closing ceremony of the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Academy here yesterday.

He was responding to a question that certain groups, including Transparency International (TI), which said that not enough was being done to combat “grand corruption”.

On Dec 1, TI said Malaysia had shown a decline in its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) score for the third consecutive year, scoring lower than 4.4 last year and was significantly lower than the Government’s own benchmark of 4.9.

Abu Kassim said the MACC had been investigating “big” cases regardless of whether it involved Cabinet ministers or ordinary citizens.