Govt fails to prove case against NFCorp - Lawyer

13 Oct 2023 11:24pm
High Court releases Salleh family with his children - FILEPIX
High Court releases Salleh family with his children - FILEPIX

SHAH ALAM - The Kuala Lumpur High Court today ruled that the government has failed to prove any wrongful use of the loan sum to the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp).

In a joint statement, NFCorp lawyers Datuk Kiru K. Kirubakaran and Datuk Seri Rajan Navaratnam said the court found that there was no breach of fiduciary duties by the defendants.

They said that the court had fully exonerated Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail, who is NFCorp executive chairman and husband of former Women, Family and Community Development Minister Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and their three children, Wan Shahinur Izran, Wan Shahinur Izmir and Wan Izzana Fatimah Zabedah who were the defendants from all allegations of misappropriation.

"The High Court also found that the government had breached the Implementation Agreement when they failed to construct the Export Quality Abattoir and breached the Loan Agreement when they unlawfully terminated it," they said.

They said the judge ruled that it was not unlawful for the defendant to utilise part of the loan sum to invest in properties in the name of the company.

NFCorp was not in default of the Loan Agreement and the Implementation Agreement in this regard, the added.

"High Court ordered that the investment properties be transferred to the government.

"Further, High Court also found that the project targets were not met because the government failed to build the Export Quality Abattoir.

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"However, because the project targets were not met, the judge decided that the unutilised loan sum in the amount of RM33 million is to be returned by NFCorp to the government.

"The High Court allows for NFCorp’s counterclaims in respect of the government’s breach of agreement and allowed for nominal damages," they said.

Earlier, in allowing the suit by the government against NFCorp and 10 others, judge Anand Ponnudurai ordered the company, which was named as the first defendant, to repay the government RM33,743,591.37 being the unutilised amount loaned to it.

In not allowing the government's full claim for RM253.6 million in loan for the project, Anand said the plaintiff had failed to put its case of the alleged conspiracy, fraud, and fraudulent breach of trust of the loan monies to the defendants' witnesses during their cross-examination.

In the statement of claim, the government stated it had signed a loan agreement totalling RM250 million with NFC on Dec 6, 2007, to finance the costs of establishing and operating a National Feedlot Centre in Gemas as part of its policy to develop and increase beef production.

The loan was disbursed in three tranches and Mohamad Salleh's family was claimed to have made 10 withdrawals amounting to RM180.51 million from Jan 24, 2008, to Jan 3, 2011.

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