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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Shahrizat shouldn't have much to do with cows

PETALING JAYA: Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil must explain herself on the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) fiasco to her party delegates in the upcoming Umno general assembly.

Kota Belud MP Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said the NFC controversy is too big an issue for it to be overlooked by party delegates.

It was reported the 2010 Auditor-General's Report found that the RM73.64 million government project failed to meet its target of breeding 8,000 cattle last year because NFC had only produced 3,289 cattle.

"I believe it will be a major issue, just like the AP with Tan Sri Rafidah Abdul Aziz. I don’t see this issue being swept under the carpet, it is just too big to ignore or avoid.

"I think Shahrizat needs to be ready to answer the questions. I expect this will be brought up, it will be mentioned in the speeches. I think some explanation must be forthcoming to clear things up and it would be better if it comes before the general assembly," he told The Malay Mail.

Despite reassurance by the government that the project has been a success, Shahrizat has continuously
been hounded over her family's involvement in the management of NFC.

On June 24, The Malay Mail reported that NFC's executive chairman is Shahrizat's husband, Datuk Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail, while the couple's three children — Izmir, 31, Izran, 27, and Izzana, 25, — are chief executive and executive directors in the company, respectively.

NFC was established as a High Impact Project under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, towards attaining 40 per cent self-sufficiency in beef production by 2010.

However, Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed opined the matter would not be made a priority as the party is preparing its machinery for the 13th general election.

"I think the issue will be suppressed because at the end of the day, we don't want negative news leading
to the general election.

"The issue will not be made a priority because the party president (Datuk Seri Najib Razak) will be looking at gearing the troops for the general election," he said.

The former Umno deputy president candidate added that Najib would also face resistance from the party's old guards when deciding on candidates for the election.

"He will have a dilemma in refreshing the candidate lineup and introducing new candidates. But the party resident must not repeat the same mistake from the previous general election when the candidate named did not have the support of the Umno machinery," he said.

The Umno general assembly will be held at the Putra World Trade Centre on Nov 29 to Dec 3 with a total of 5,447 delegates expected to attend.

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