Thursday, August 02, 2012

Najib's Whistleblower Reforms Dead

PKR Strategy Director Rafizi Ramli has been charged in the Shah Alam sessions court this morning for allegedly breaching the Banking and Financial Institution Act when he exposed some of the worst abuses by National Feedlot Corporation (NFC).

Rafizi has led the charge to expose a long list of wrong-doings by the company and its directors, who are the husband and children of Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil, the recently resigned Minister of Women, Family and Community Development.  Datuk Seri Shahrizat is still the Chief of UMNO’s Women’s Wing.

Despite the overwhelming evidence exposed to date, only Datuk Seri Shahrizat’s husband, Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh has been brought to court, and even then only on 2 key charges – for misappropriating RM40 million of NFC’s money, and for acquiring 2 units of luxury condominium in One Menerung, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur for RM13.5 million.

This is despite the fact that based on NFC’s last audited accounts, more than RM110 million has been misappropriated by the directors to set up a global chain of companies under their individual names.  In addition, Rafizi has also exposed the fact that Datuk Seri Shahrizat’s family has acquired 3 luxury condominiums in Singapore worth some RM45 million, as well as a villa in Kazakhstan.

However, none of these assets have been frozen by the Malaysian authorities and none of the other directors have been charged despite holding various key positions in NFC, including the son, Izran Salleh who is the Chief Executive Officer of NFC.

Instead of pursuing the culprits who have abused the RM250 million government soft loan extended to NFC, the Government has chosen to exact revenge on the whistle-blower Rafizi Ramli who play the integral role in uncovering the lid on the litany of gross abuses by Shahrizat’s family.

The act by the Malaysian authorities marks a serious blow to the purported anti-corruption campaign launched by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak himself, under the Anti-Corruption National Key Result Area (NKRA) in the Government Transformation Programme (GTP).  The spirit of the Whistleblower Act which was passed in December 2010 to encourage more to expose corrupt activities is clearly undermined with the persecution of Rafizi.

Only a week ago under the GTP2.0 Open Day, only 7 persons have sought protection under the Whistleblower Act today after more than 18 months, clearly pointing towards a complete lack of confidence in the Barisan Nasional government.  Rafizi’s persecution will mark the death knell for the Act as no whistleblower will have any trust in the system to protect their interest.

The complete lack of urgency to bring criminal charges against Datuk Seri Shahrizat’s family members, and the speed at which Rafizi is being charged for blowing the lid on the scandal proves that Datuk Seri Najib has no qualms in protecting the powerful in Barisan Nasional, and quashing his political enemies.  Such blatant abuse of power will only confirm in the eyes of the world that Najib’s reform agenda is pure hogwash.

We in the DAP will stand firm and together with Rafizi to ensure that truth and justice will prevail.  Our leaders may have been detained without trial, sent to jail on trumped up charges and sued for defamation but we are committed to remain steadfast to our principles and will continue to fearlessly expose all misdeeds and wrongdoings committed by the BN leaders, their associates and cronies.

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