KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 15): The National Feedlot Corp Sdn Bhd (NFC) never achieved the primary targets that were stipulated by the government when it granted an RM250 million loan to the company, chief of which was to set up a national feedlot centre in Gemas, Negeri Sembilan.
The High Court here was told this yesterday by Datuk Dr A Manaf Hussein, a former deputy secretary in the loan management division of the Ministry of Finance.
Manaf is the first witness to testify in the trial of the government’s lawsuit against the NFC, which commenced on Thursday. He was also one of three government-mandated representatives that were appointed to NFC’s board of directors.
He said the board had meetings about the company’s plans, but these plans were never executed.
“We discussed about expenditure, and the planning and implementation of projects the company was going to execute. However, it did not [execute the projects],” he told High Court judicial commissioner Anand Ponnudurai.
Meanwhile, Datuk Eshah Meor Sulaiman — the second witness — told the court that the government had a golden share in NFC, and that it was part of the conditions stipulated in the agreement for the RM250 million loan granted to NFC in 2007.
Eshah, who was an investment division secretary for Minister of Finance Inc, also testified that the government separately gave NFC a grant of RM13 million to spend on the infrastructure set up and operation of the national feedlot centre.
The government filed the lawsuit last May against NFC and its chairman Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail to recover the loan it extended to the company 12 years ago. Salleh is the husband of former Wanita Umno chief Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, who was also formerly the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development.
Also named as defendants in the suit are the couple’s three children and seven companies owned by the family, including NFC. They were accused of misappropriating and wrongly using RM118 million out of the RM250 million loan granted.
The government is also seeking a declaration from the court to have Salleh’s family be personally liable for the debt repayment, the RM118 million allegedly misappropriated from the loan and secret profits arising from it, as well as Putrajaya’s entitlement to claim equitable title to the properties bought by the defendants using the misappropriated sum.
Senior Federal Counsel Azizan Arshad is representing the government in the case, while NFC and Salleh are represented by lawyer Datuk Seri Rajan Navaratnam.
The trial resumes on March 10.