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Friday, April 6, 2012

Shahrizat's husband and son rushed to cash out on 3 shops after she said she would 'quit'

Sulaiman Kamal | 12:33 AM | | | Best Blogger Tips

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As he had promised, PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli dropped the latest bombshell in the deepening NFC corruption debacle - this time revealing three new properties and how the husband and son of embattled Umno minister Shahrizat Jalil had rushed to "cash out" soon after she announced she would step down from the Cabinet on April 8.

According to Rafizi, the properties had been purchased with loans obtained by leveraging off a RM250million government soft loan granted to the NFC cattle breeding project, which had been awarded to Shahrizat's family to manage in 2006.

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According to Rafizi, the properties were sold at "distressed prices" and were worth at least a million more based on current market prices.

“At the market rate, these three properties are estimated to cost RM4 million, which means that the divestments were made at a 25 percent discount.  Before we were exposing property purchases, now it’s property sales at distressed prices,” said Rafizi.

The properties were purportedly registered in the personal names of Shahrizat's husband Salleh Ismail, who is also the NFC executive chairman, and her son Wan Shahinur Izran Salleh, who is also an NFC director. The buyer was Insun Development Sdn Bhd.

Cashing out - RM1 million below market price

Rafizi, a UK trained auditor, also accused the Shahrizats of "winding down" their activities as public pressure mounted for action to be taken against them.

Already Salleh has been charged for criminal breach of trust, but Prime Minister Najib Razak's continued support for Shahrizat - accepting only her Cabinet resignation and encouraging her to stay on as the head of the Women's wing - has prompted concern that it would likely be another "show trial" and the Shahrizats would be let off with the minimum punishment.

Rafizi said the 3 shop/office lots were paid for with loans obtained from the same bank that had extended NFC directors credit to purchase RM34 million worth of properties at the KL Eco City.

Apart from KL Eco City, the Shahrizats are accused of buying luxury condominiums in Bangsar, Singapore and even a supermarket lease - also in Singapore.

The NFC is a national project and the government loan was intended to develop the cattle breeding activities. However, the project has been badly managed with the Auditor-General warning of fundamental weaknesses.

The Umno elite and Najib in particular have been blamed for refusing to punish Shahrizat for the corruption allegations. Even her announcement to 'resign' on April 8 to appease public anger was mired in controversy as that is the date her Senator-ship would expire, making it automatic that her ministerial post would cease.

Najib lied: Freeze the directors' assets as well

Rafizi also slammed Najib, who is also Finance minister, for being negligent and "lying" to the people that NFC assets had been frozen, when it was clear the Shahrizats were free to continue transactions including buying and selling of assets at will.

According to Rafizi, it was now imperative for the government to freeze not just the assets owned by NFC but also the personal assets of all the directors to ensure “personal guarantee” that the RM250 million could be fully recovered.

Shahrizat's other two children Wan Shahinur Izmir and Wan Izzanna Fatima Zabedah are also directors of NFCorp, the family-owned firm awarded the NFC project.

Rafizi also warned the Najib administration to extend the freeze to offshore fund transfers from the NFC or the directors themselves to Singapore and Kazakhstan, where the Shahrizats own other businesses .

The family has also been accused of buying a RM1.7million luxury apartment in Kazakhstan as a wedding gift for Najib's daughter, who had married into a powerful political family there.

“The focus now should be on how to recover the RM250 million soft loan, and these assets could have been used for that,” said Rafizi.

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