The National Feedlot Corporation scandal continues to rage on. Last month, Prime Minister Najib Razak expressed his gratitude and appreciation to his women and family affairs minister Sharizat Jalil, who is the Umno women's chief, for 'stepping down' graciously to protect the image of his party.
Lavish praises were showered on Sharizat from a few top Umno leaders too after they had failed to defend her and her family's terrible management of the NFC's grant. The purpose of NFC was to hel develop the poultry industry and to increase the supply of local beef for local consumption. Instead, the company headed by Sharizat's husband and son had used the grant to purchase high end properties in Malaysia, Singapore and Khazakstan.
Today, PKR leaders revealed that two office units used by NFC belong to executive chairperson Mohamad Salleh Ismail and his son and director Wan Shahinur Izran Salleh.
Based on NFC's financial accounts made public by Rafizi, the units located at Solaris Mont Kiara were rented from the duo at RM28,000 and RM8,240 a month respectively. The search further established that Izran owns the premises of the Meatworks Restaurant, also in Solaris Mont Kiara. Meatworks is operated by the Real Food Company, an NFC associate company.
They argued that NFC has been paying a premium to rent these units. It is not so difficult to understand why a conflict of interest had taken place. It is obvious that someone are misusing the grant and goodwill of the government to enrich themselves. Worse, Umno is seen as condoning such actions.
Umno-led Barisan government has been involved in a string of financial irregularities which could have cost the country more than a hundred billion ringgit in the last 3 decades. New controversies continue to surface, thanks to the Internet, e.g. MEX highway, Tajuddin Ramli's MAS scandal, PKFZ, Scorpene submarine commission & possible hundreds of other similar deals, Perwaja et cetera. The list is too long for this blog post.
Unfortunately, Najib administration continues to pick the wrong priorities. He continues to pick on students who participated in the Occupy Dataran. A number of student leaders have been arrested and charged in court.
He has repealed the ISA and replaced it with an equally ambiguous Security Offences Act which was rushed through in last weeks parliament together with 12 other Bills.
Najib has failed to implement sweeping reforms to enhance Malaysia's democratic system when the PSC on electoral reforms went from hero to zero when both camps had failed to reach a consensus on important reforms.
The overtly partisan Election Commission has been both recalcitrant and tricky when it has successfully got the parliament, which is dominated by Barisan Nasional, to pass through amendments to the electoral laws which could worsen instead of helping to make the electoral process fairer and transparent.
Barisan's wrong priorities only show that it is not able to reform or change for the better. It takes an electoral beating to wake up this complacent and big bully.
Najib's record so far has been pompous but lacked any serious reform credentials. He has yet to provide any believable closure to any of the scandals listed above.
Considering the events in the last few days, especially the arrest of students and peaceful demonstrators and condoning off of Dataran Merdeka, Straight Talk has decided to endorse Bersih 3.0. This blog is not about partisan politics. It wants to make a positive and enduring change in the country. It is about standing up against oppression, bad governance and oppressive regime.
I was there at the Bersih 2.0, marching together with thousands of peaceful demonstrators and I do not wish to see any violence coming from the enforcement officers again. PM Najib must walk his talk on safeguarding Malaysia's democracy. Democracy means freedom of expression.
Malaysians must seize the day and tell this government unequivocally that WE WANT CHANGE...AND WE WANT IT NOW!