Malaysia

Directors must account for RM81m owed to NFCorp, says DAP’s Pua

The DAP publicity chief disclosed that a total of RM81,324,745 was owed to the cattle-rearing firm by “companies which are associated with certain directors of [NFCorp]”, as stated in NFCorp’s annual report for 2009.

According to the audited financial report, the total, listed in “other receivables”, is unsecured and has no fixed repayment term.

“Given that this amount of money is funded by taxpayers, I call upon NFCorp to immediately disclose where every single sen of this RM81 million went to,” Pua (picture) told reporters at DAP headquarters today.

“There is a great need for accountability here. Money from government cannot be used for anything they like, it cannot be hidden away. It must be transparent.”

NFCorp must explain where the money went as soon as possible and not wait for the opposition to “do more exposés”, he said.

He noted that the annual report did not mention any subsidiaries despite NFCorp boss Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail’s insistence that companies like Real Foods Sdn Bhd and National Livestock and Meat Company (NLMC) Sdn Bhd were associated units.

Both Real Foods and NLMC are owned and operated by Salleh and his children.

“They say it’s all for the National Feedlot, not themselves. In that case, list down everything. No need to hide anymore. Where is this RM81 million?” Pua said, adding that the total owed was probably in excess of RM100 million by now.

He reiterated that under the Companies Act, companies are not allowed to lend to directors other than for housing loans, and even then the loan must be signed off by shareholders.

“My check of the records shows that no such shareholders’ approval was given, neither is it in the audited accounts... Nothing in this document tells you of any approval of any loan to any director,” he said.

Pua added that he will raise the issue at the next Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting on Monday and will also propose the panel call in officials from the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry and Finance ministries as well as NFCorp directors.

He said he will also demand a list of the other receivables mentioned in NFCorp’s annual report to see who took the money out.

Publicly-funded NFCorp hit the headlines after making it into the Auditor-General’s Report last year, and has continued to hog the limelight after it was linked to federal minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil.

Salleh, a former food science head at Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (UPM), is Shahrizat’s husband. He runs the company with their three children.

PKR has made several claims of abuse over NFCorp’s RM250 million federal loan involving more than RM62 million spent on land, property and other expenses unrelated to cattle raising.

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