Group demands probe on Rafizi for jewellery expose

By Boo Su-Lyn and Syed Jaymal Zahiid
January 03, 2013
Latest Update: January 04, 2013 12:16 am

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 3 — A journalists group wants the authorities to investigate PKR’s Rafizi Ramli for his revelations about carpet dealer Deepak Jaikishan’s purported US$4 million (RM12.4 million) jewellery purchases for dignitaries although the controversial businessman has denied the documents.

“The Young Journalists Club of Malaysia (KWMM) is very worried about the trend of the federal opposition exposing private and confidential documents, whether owned by individuals or the government, for insidious purposes,” club president Dzulkarnain Taib said in a statement today.

“KWMM takes the irresponsible behaviour of an opposition leader like Rafizi (picture) very seriously, who has made baseless assumptions and allegations without strong evidence. This was done merely for political purposes and to get more votes, since the 13th general election will be held soon,” he added, using the club’s Bahasa Malaysia acronym.

Rafizi was charged last August with violating the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (BAFIA) for allegedly exposing confidential banking details of NFCorp.

The NFCorp runs the National Feedlot Centre (NFC), a RM250 million federal-funded cattle-farming project that has been at the centre of a major national scandal.

Yesterday, Rafizi provided the media copies of transaction records, including one for a US$115,000 purchase of polished diamonds from Dehres Ltd, a fine jewellery supplier from Hong Kong.

Another document detailed transactions worth US$3.9 million involving the purchases of rings, necklaces and earrings from Firestone Co Ltd, another Hong Kong-based fine jewellery supplier.

Rafizi has said that Deepak was acting as a jewellery middleman for a local dignitary.

The carpet dealer, however, has denied seeing the jewellery bills.

Deepak also accused Rafizi of making the exposé for political mileage.

But Rafizi claimed today the documents were provided by Deepak himself through a third party linked to PKR and suggested that the carpet dealer’s outburst yesterday was caused by the party’s initial refusal to “champion” the issue.

The PKR leader said after Boustead Holdings Bhd announced that it will pay RM160 million to buy off Deepak’s company and the land belonging to Awan Megah Sdn Bhd, the carpet dealer’s allegations could shed light on possible discrepancies in the deal.

Awan Megah, owned by Selangor Wanita Umno chief Senator Raja Datuk Seri Ropiaah Abdullah, was given the contract to build the National Defence Education Centre (Puspahanas) in 2005 in exchange for three pieces of land in Bukit Raja and RM27 million. 

The company sold the land last week to a unit of the Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) for RM130 million.

The jewellery bills and the land deal could be linked, suggested Rafizi, who said that Boustead’s move to purchase the land had provided a “new dimension” to the fiasco.

“After studying the documents and receiving additional information, I am convinced there is strong basis for the authorities to launch a probe,” he said.

This included admission by Deepak that the two companies named in the transaction records are his.

Rafizi said since the issue now involves public interest, he is ready to arrange a meeting with the carpet dealer soon to see if they can co-operate on the matter.

He denied accusations that PKR and Deepak had conspired on the exposes and claimed the businessman’s accusation against him showed that the party is acting independently.