NFC now a tangle of weeds as Rafizi goes to jail

Muzliza Mustafa Kamles Kumar

The arch that spells out National Feedlot Centre in Bahasa Malaysia at the entrance of the abandoned site in Gemas, Negri Sembilan. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Kamal Ariffin, February 11, 2018.

AS those who exposed the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal are marched off to jail, the site of the ambitious cattle rearing project lies in a tangle of weeds.

No cows and no workers were spotted at the 600-ha NFC site in Gemas, Negri Sembilan, where RM250 million in public funds were sunk into a project that has since been left to rot.

No one has been found guilty for the failures of the project. But on February 7, Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli, who exposed NFC’s failures, was sentenced to 30 months in jail for revealing bank documents related to the project.  

The Malaysian Insight recently visited the site, and found two rundown buildings and a crumbling guardhouse at the end of a dirt road a few kilometres from the Gemas-Tampin road.

It is a short drive from one of the most modern army bases in the country, the Syed Sirajuddin camp. 

Past an iconic arch that used to spell out National Feedlot Centre, the dusty road led to a pair of rusty locked gates, beyond which were the two buildings.

The only signs of life were the overgrown weeds and the steady drone of crickets.

A worker at a nearby oil palm estate said the place has been unoccupied since four years ago.

“You can see a huge block of buildings there, and one of them was used as a quarters for the workers. The signboard is not that clear so watch out for the water tank,” he told The Malaysian Insight.

“No one stays there any more. No livestock, no workers,” said the man who requested anonymity.

He was unsure where the workers and the cattle went.

Cows and condos

The feedlot promised to breed 8,000 head of cattle by 2010, but the RM74 million centre in Gemas had only bred 3,289, or 41% of the target, the auditor-general’s report said.

The project was supposed to enhance the country’s food security and reduce the need for beef imports.

The feedlot was run by NFC, which was headed by Dr Mohamed Salleh Ismail, the husband of Wanita Umno chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

The company also received an RM250 million soft loan from the government during the Abdullah Ahmad Badawi administration.

In 2011, Rafizi exposed the cattle breeder’s purchases of luxury condominium units.

Salleh was charged with four counts of misappropriating a total of RM49.7 million from NFC the same year, but was later acquitted of all charges.

In November 2016, Rafizi lost a defamation suit and was ordered to pay Salleh and NFC RM200,000 in damages for claiming that a bank loan taken by the company was used to purchase a condominium.

On February 7, Rafizi and former Public Bank clerk Johari Mohamad  were found guilty and sentenced to 30 months’ jail by the Shah Alam Sessions Court.

The two had breached the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (Bafia) when they leaked account information related to NFC.

After the scandal hit national headlines, NFC announced in early 2013 that Kirimitonas Agro Sdn Bhd would be taking over the project, including liabilities, such as the RM250 million loan from the government. 

Kirimitonas Agro is a joint-venture company between Otoshitos Sdn Bhd and Hannan Food Co. Hannan is Japan’s second-largest cattle operator specialising in the production of wagyu beef.

However, Prime Minister Najib Razak said in Parliament in 2013 that the deal was cancelled as the government and Kirimitonas had failed to reach a deal.

Kirimitonas still exists and the directors are two Japanese men, and Malaysians Nik Mod Amin and Za’ba Hasrin.

The last financial statement the company filed was in 2016, according to a check with Companies Commission.

The Malaysian Insight is trying to contact Nik Mod, who is currently overseas.

According to past media statements, the Negri Sembilan government said it was in the process of taking back the land it leased to NFC.

In 2014, Menteri Besar Mohamad Hasan told the Negri Sembilan Assembly that the 607.5-hectare site was leased to NFC in 2007 through the Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI).
Mohamad, who is also the State Assemblyman for Rantau, said the state government planned to place on the farm 10 cattle and sheep breeders, who would share and manage its facilities.

But The Malaysian Insight’s visit found no evidence of such activity taking place. – February 11, 2018.

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  • This is the kind of FAKE news that the Government wanted to combat. Now I wonder, if there's no NFC then why was Rafizi convicted? There's no ground for him to be behind bars....oh probably he had said a Fake investment! Know I got it. Goosh, things are not very clear these days in Bolehland....

    Posted 6 years ago by Crishan Veera · Reply

  • Where's the MACC, Police, taskforce investigation on this? RCI maybe? RM250 mil is a lot of money, imagine how many 10As students who will not be getting scholarship to study overseas? Pakatan must compile this into list of losses and shenanigans by inept Najib for GE14 ceramah fodder.

    Posted 6 years ago by Kuasa Rakyat · Reply

  • The rundown guardhouses, tangling weeds, and the abandoned site is a testimony to the gross injustice n corruption committed by the Umno govt against the rakyat n the hard earned taxpayers money that has been siphoned by Umno leaders to enrich themselves illegally. Yet she has the conscience to contest in the next GE.

    Posted 6 years ago by Peace Maker · Reply

  • Bottom line is Malaysia do not protect whistle blowers. The people have seen that in every scandal of which, ironically, the government always has a finger on. The Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 as a law, is just that of its name - all an act.

    Posted 6 years ago by Zosimo Jimeno · Reply

  • Rafizi got the information from Dr Salleh bank account, and exposed the news that Dr Salleh had misappropriated NFC fund to buy expensive condos. As a result Dr Salleh account was frozen, the fund for NFC was withhold and withdrawn, thus the RM250 NFC project and several of his companies was stagnated or jeopardized. During the subsequent court case, he lost millions to lawyers and many business setback, His wife lost the political post and BN got very unpopular and lost many parliamentary and state seats

    The court cleared Dr Salleh of any financial misdeeds and misappropriation, he purchased the condos using his other company funding not NFC.

    Rafizi thought he was the righteous whiselblower, had leaked the news to destroy BN politically, it was a FAKE news. The destruction and the loss faced by the innocent parties were enormous and irreversible. Dr Salleh got only 200K (not enough to pay a lawyer), and Rafizi got 30 months in jail, he feel he is innocent and will continue to appeal.

    Yes, fake news are very destructive, all those who participated is spreading fake news have committed heinous sins, In the hereafter, they will know the actual consequent.

    Posted 6 years ago by Tham lim · Reply

  • Guess, in order to bring justice on such cases for the sake of rakyat, something have to done to bring trust and confident to rakyat which till today still talking about it. Making thing even worst after knowing and see the pictures that the said feedlot program land is left abandoned for more than 4 years while millions of rakyat money had been spend down the drain and not accounted for. If earlier once the feedlot program by NFC is abandoned measures should be taken by offering the said land to small enterpruner breeder in order to cut down the losses. By now the land will be full of cows

    Posted 6 years ago by Abdul Rahman Abdul Razak · Reply

  • The origin of this problem is they did not understand the business model does not work. It was the same problem with the Sturgeon farming..Now they are REPEATING KR1M, another model that experts will tell you it does not work. Any real retailer will know its a waste of money..

    Posted 6 years ago by Bigjoe Lam · Reply