By Melissa Lee
Amid speculation that Salleh Ismail, the husband of embattled Umno leader Shahrizat Jalil, was drawing a salary of around RM100,000 per month, PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar has challenged the National Feedlot Corporation to come clean on the numbers.
“NFC is a national project. It owes Malaysians transparency because it is funded by taxpayers’ money. If it is really paying such huge salaries to Salleh and other top executives, it must have good reasons to do so and we want to know what these are,” Shamsul told Malaysia Chronicle.
Given that Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is also the Umno president, is trying to damage control the fallout from the financial scandal, it is unlikely that NFC will respond.
Since the start of this month, several bloggers including from Umno have accused the NFC of paying its Executive Chaiman Salleh around RM100,000 per month, her children Wan Shainur Izmir, 31, who is the Executive Director, Wan Shahinur Izran, 27, the Chief Executive Officer and Wan Izzana Fatimah, 25, the Director, salaries and allowances of between RM35,000 to RM45,000 per month each.
Meanwhile, according to PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli, the police have yet to interview him, PKR Women’s chief Zuraida Kamaruddin or PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution over their claims of abuse of power and misappropriation of funds at the NFC.
This despite Deputy Inspector General of Police Khalid Bakar claiming that his men had interviewed 74 people and found no trace of “elements of criminal breach of trust”.
PKR had broken the news about Shahrizat and the alleged mismanagement at the NFC. After failing to get answers in Parliament from the Najib administration, PKR leaders went public with their accusations that NFC had wrongfully spent RM181mil out of an RM250mil government soft loan meant to incubate a cattle livestock industry in Gemas.
PKR accused Salleh of spending the funds on super-plush condos at Bangsar, a high-specs Mercedes CLS 350 CGI, prime residential land, holiday trips, cash transfers and million-ringgit discounts to family-controlled firms.
“It is a puzzle how the deputy IGP can come to his conclusion when he never once interviewed any of us, although we have lodged a report with the MACC. We regard this as another sign of bad faith to the rakyat (citizenry) from the police and the BN,” Rafizi told Malaysia Chronicle.