The Malays cannot depend on PAS and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) to champion their cause, an Umno divisional leader said Wednesday.
Datuk Syed Ali Alhabshee, head of the Cheras Umno Division, said the Malays should give their total support to Umno.
“No Malay political party other than Umno has achieved an excellent record in administering the country based on the Federal Constitution,” he told Bernama.
Syed Ali said that in the complex political environment of today, Umno required a bold shift to erase the negative perception some people had of the party, the principal partner in the Barisan Nasional (BN).
“Umno should change its approach and methodology in keeping with the shift in thinking of young people who are getting more critical. This must be done because the young will determine the course of the country in the future,” he said.
Former minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said today she was not embarrassed by the failure of National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) helmed by her husband, Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail, in running the National Feedlot Centre (NFC).
During cross-examination in her defamation case against PKR’s Zuraidah Kamaruddin and Rafizi Ramli today, lawyer Ranjit Singh asked if Shahrizat felt embarrassed when reading the 2010 Auditor-General’s report, which stated NFCorp had not met their obligations owed to the government.
“No. They did not refer to my husband’s company. Counsel has got his facts wrong,” claimed Shahrizat.
Ranjit then read the Wanita UMNO chief excerpts from the report which stated NFCorp had not met the contract obligations for the project, but again, Shahrizat disputed the question.
“Yes, but let me clarify, the Auditor-General was only referring to the national feedlot project. He has no power to audit a private company,” she said.
Shahrizat also testified that she did not know how NFCorp made its income.
“I don’t know. It’s a business entity. I don’t know what their plans are,” she said.
When the defence lawyer asked who was charged with managing the feedlot programme, Shahrizat again said she did not know.
“That you will have to ask the agricultural minister,” she added.
NFCorp is owned by Mohamad Salleh and the couple’s three children. Their eldest son, Wan Shahinur Izmir, was also present today before the High Court judge Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera.
Shahrizat was represented by Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who was not in attendance this morning.
Rafizi had previously said that although he had repeatedly raised the question of conflict of interest in the award of the NFC project to Mohamad Salleh’s company when Shahrizat was still in the Cabinet, it was only the NFCorp chairman who was charged in court with wrongdoing.
On May 12, Mohamad Salleh pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court to two counts of criminal breach of trust involving RM49.7 million in NFCorp funds with regards to the purchase of two condominium units.
Rafizi, who has been at the forefront of the exposé on the scandal, was charged together with former Public Bank clerk Johari Mohamad under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (BAFIA) for disclosing banking documents related to NFCorp.
Both of them could be fined a maximum of RM3 million or be jailed up to three years if found guilty
Pakatan Rakyat leaders expressed shock at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s decision to clear Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman of graft and money laundering allegations, saying that it raised more questions than it answered.
“RM40 million is a huge sum, where did Sabah Umno get so much money? Who in Sabah Umno received it? How were the funds raised, was it from the federal government or from the state government or from members’ contributions? We are dissatisfied with the explanation given and disappointed with the MACC for not probing deeper,” PKR MP for Batu Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.
Musa was given the all-clear after the MACC found that the more-than S$16 million (RM40 million) channeled to Musa allegedly through corrupt means was meant for Sabah Umno’s use.
This was announced by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz in a written reply to a question Tian had posed last week.
According to Nazri, the Attorney-General’s Chambers had shelved the matter after finding no element of corruption in the case, which had been raised by whistle blower site Sarawak Report earlier this year.
“The funds were actually contributions made to the Sabah Umno liaison body and not for the chief minister’s personal use,” said Nazri.
In June, Prime Minister Najib Razak had told Tian in a written reply that MACC had completed its probe and passed on the matter to the A-G for consideration.
Nazri’s statement today is bound to focus more attention on Gani Patail, the corruption-tainted Attorney-General who has been frequently accused of blocking attempts to bring Musa to justice.
There have been speculation that Musa and Gani are related, and despite public clamoring for Najib to sack Gani, who is also unpopular for a host of other high-level murky decisions, the PM has refused to do so.
Nazri said that Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) had also investigated the case but “took no further action”.
“On the matter filed in the Switzerland courts, it was a MACMA (Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act) application by the ICAC seeking a probe on the same case. The MACMA application has also been withdrawn for the same reason as stated above,” he said.
I was defamed – Musa
Sarawak Report had in an April report, backed by documents allegedly obtained from the ICAC, said that a Sabah lawyer was holding some US$30 million in a Swiss bank account for Musa.
The report claimed that a paper trail showed that millions in euros, US, Hong Kong and Singapore dollars had been channelled from several firms managed by Hong Kong-based timber trader Michael Chia to a number of British Virgin Island companies and subsequently to the Sabah lawyer’s Swiss account.
Musa has denied links with Chia, who was arrested and charged with money laundering after attempting to smuggle S$16 million (RM40 million) back to Malaysia in 2008.
According to media reports, Chia had at the time allegedly told the Hong Kong authorities that the money belonged to Musa.
“I deny all these allegations. I wish to put it on record once again that I have no business association whatsoever with an individual named Michael Chia,” the Malaysian Insider reported Musa as saying.
Musa also accused Sarawak Report of defaming him, claiming the graft allegations were likely part of a conspiracy by his enemies who wanted to topple Sabah BN and grab power.
Talk about sweet revenge. News that Prime Minister Najib Razak had met up with U.S. billionaire George Soros raised a hoot of laughter with delighted Malaysian activists and opposition leaders, who had suffered relentless attacks by the government-controlled press over the past weeks for receiving funds from Soros-linked foundations.
Soros is the number 1 enemy of Najib’s Umno party and his predecessor, former premier Mahathir Mohamad. Using the government-controlled mainstream media, Mahathir had led a campaign that opposition leaders said was aimed at scaring the conservative Malay electorate back into the Umno fold by using Soro’s Jewish origins as a bogeyman.
It is also believed that Soros was a convenient scapegoat seized on by Umno strategists to pressure Malaysian NGO SUARAM into slowing its corruption trial in Paris against French naval giant DCNS, which has been accused of paying at least 114 million euros in illegal kickbacks to Najib and Umno for ordering 2 second-hand Scorpene submarines.
Wahai pencacai2 BN- ada rasa bodoh tak skang lepas dgr berita ni – Najib bertemu Soros di New York – Latheefa Koya, the PKR legal affairs director, said o Twitter.
PM Najib bertemu Soros di New York – Betul ke ni? Mungkin plot Kristian/Yahudi ambik Najib lookalike buat meeting – Lawyers for Liberty
PM Najib met Soros in New York – Ketawa terbahak-bahak. Jawap lah wahai NST, Star, Utusan etc
They were responding to a news report from Malaysiakini that said Najib met Soros on Sept 27, 2010.
“It is believed that at least one other top Umno leader was present at the get-together. Najib, who became prime minister in 2009, made his maiden speech at the UN General Assembly in New York on the same day he met with the billionaire financier,” wrote the news portal.
Time to ‘balik kampung’ Dr M
So far, no one has asked whether Najib had ‘sounded’ Soros for any funding or FDI. The US tycoon is known for several charitable foundations that support pro-democracy causes.
But whether Najib did so is not the crux of the issue. Critics of his government lament his party’s habitual use of gutter politicking to persecute rivals.
Attracting the greatest odium is Mahathir’s overt hypocrisy in attacking Soros, with whom he crossed swords during the 1998 Asian financial crisis.
Then, Mahathir had accused Soros of causing Malaysia’s economic downfall. But it later became evident that it was his encouragement given to former central Bank Negara treasury chief Nor Mohmad Yakcop to gamble in the international markets that really weakened Malaysia’s economic fundamentals, attracting big-time traders to attack its currency.
Nor Mohamad, who is now a Minister in Najib’s Cabinet, had allegedly lost RM30billion. But Mahathir has refused to admit or even comment on this.
“My view of Soros is that he is still a rogue currency trader and he compounds this evil by using the money to put his kind of people to rule the countries targeted by him. And Malaysia obviously is one of his targets,” Mahathir wrote in a recent op-ed published in the New Straits Times.