Auditor-General Ambrin Buang said the ministry’s initial main operator Lamberts Agricultural Trade (M) Sdn Bhd (LAT) had backed out of the project, a move that contributed to the dismal performance of the NFC in failing to train 130 farmers for the project.
A search into the Directory of Australian Business in Malaysia pointed out that LAT had its office in Wisma Zelan at Bandar Tun Razak, a joint-venture company operating in Malaysia since 2006 with business activities involving livestock and livestock services, and was one of the key suppliers to the National Feedlot Centre.
Australian consultant's role
LAT was also the consultant to the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA). It had proposed a grand ambition to the Malaysian government to transform the local livestock industry into a modern, competitive and sustainable growth sector. The ultimate aim was to ensure food security and to complement Malaysia's export revenue, adding to its balance of trade.
The scope covered was wide, from producing corn farms for animal feed production, breeding, healthcare and marketing for poultry, goats, buffaloes, cows, horses, pigs, deers and swiftlets, to also producing dairy, agro-based halal products. It was supposed to work in close cooperation with the federal and state government owned bodies such as the Veterinary Department, MARDI, FELDA, PORIM, FAMA and private entrepreneurs.
NFC was tasked to raise the standard of living of individuals in the industry and enable them to earn a minimum wage of RM2,500 per month. Satellite farms and centres were to be located in all the economic corridors in Tersat (Terengganu), Muadzam Shah (Pahang), Mersing (Johor) and Kelantan. The current centre in Gemas, Negeri Sembilan was not in the proposal at all. The NFC was supposed to be the anchor for a vibrant and sprawling Malaysian beef industry. And the plan did have potential.
However, that was all before Umno Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin got into the picture. Suddenly, things changed. And for the worse.
The half-baked (as in not fully matured) de-facto PM
If you have been following the rise and fall of Khairy Jamaluddin, you would be able to understand how tenacious Khairy was during his heyday when he was not only the son-in-law of the then prime minister Abdullah Badawi, but also the “de facto” PM.
You see, Badawi was in no position to fit into Mahathir’s shoes. Badawi had no grasp over the running of the country, he just wanted to flash that winning smile, shake hands like the Queen and dash off for a snooze - preferably after his favorite Nasi Kandar meal.
So call him what you will - KJ the ambitious, KJ the fortune-hunter, KJ the opportunist - it was left to him, a still-20-something, to run the country then.
KJ's critics say he also busied himself in allegedly grabbing all the money he could get his hands on. Like a super-turbo-charged vacuum cleaner, he allegedly swept everything in sight until DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang could not stand it anymore and labeled him the “Penganggur Jutawan”, or the "Unemployed Millionaire".
How Shahrizat got into the picture
Umno Women's chief Shahrizat Jalil, who is now a senator and appointed minister in the Najib administration, was at that time overshadowed by Wanita veteran Rafidah Aziz aka Mrs AP or Authorised Permits (for motor vehicles). To be under the shadow of such a tough and bossy Rafidah is not easy at all.
For Shahrizat, it was indeed the lowest ebb of her political life; nothing she did turned out right. She was defeated by PKR's Nurul Izzah Anwar in her long-held Lembah Pantai parliamentary seat during the 2008 general election. She also no longer held much interest in her old law firm. Her husband, Salleh Ismail, was also at the end of his academic and research career while their three young children had not started out on their own careers yet.
Indeed, the situation was so bad for Shahrizat that she had to approach her boss Badawi for some kind of help. She did not know it then but she was going to be very fortunate.
Muhyiddin part of the KJ jigsaw puzzle
Muhyiddin, who during the time when Mahathir Mohamad had retired in favor of Badawi, had been suggested as an alternative to Najib Razak for the post of Deputy Prime Minister. But Muhyiddin ended up being the Minister of Agriculture, which is seen as one of the lower ranking ministries.
Muhyiddin was very disappointed, more so since he had no control and had no guaranteed support from Johor UMNO. In fact, Muhyiddin's position in UMNO was rather precarious despite being a minister. He was not the Johore UMNO head; Mentri Besar Ghani Othman was and still is. Muhyiddin had to have some sort power base or at least be relevant in UMNO activities. For that to happen, he had to find some sort of strong support, i.e. influential patrons and power-brokers.
When Shahrizat approached Badawi, she was 'naturally' referred to Khairy, who was notoriously possessive in wanting to screen anyone who wanted to see his dad-in-law first. In a flash, Khairy saw an opportunity to wave his powerful magic wand and kill two cows with one stone, so to speak.
The MoA under Muhyiddin was then in the midst of embarking on an agricultural 'transformation'; yes, the 'T' word was popular in Putrajaya even before Najib, the current PM, stole it for his Government Transformation Programme and Economic Transformation Programme.
KJ called Muhyiddin - the rest is history
Badawi was very interested in getting Beef Valley set up as a small legacy of his own that was different from the previous prime ministers. It wasn't easy having to compete with Mahathir's Cyberjaya, Putrajaya, Twin Towers and what-not.
So it was that Badawi was said to have asked Khairy to help Shahrizat by getting her involved in the NFC project. When Khairy allegedly called Muhyiddin, the then Agriculture minister, he was more than willing to help because this kind of favour to Khairy and Badawi could only boost his political future and add to his war chest of favors owed.
Of course, with Khairy then the “de facto” PM, by showing obedience, Muhyiddin figured he would also be demonstrating his flexibility and loyalty to a future PM. Future PM as meaning Khairy, although right now it is difficult if not impossible to imagine how KJ could ever fill that post.
According to the Umno grapevine, Khairy decided that the agricultural transformation plan must come on sooner than planned so as to please his father-in-law. He instructed the “scheme” to be implemented in his home-base state of Negeri Sembilan so as to bring about some development there. He awarded it to Shahrizat’s husband taking the proposal from LAT as the project's framework. It was not a bad choice actually because the Gemas-Gemencheh area already had some sort cattle farming activities going on.
Lamberts Agricultural Trade (M) Sdn Bhd knew what was coming and there was no need for them to further waste money, effort and time doing farming business in Malaysia anymore; so they 'killed the dog' and quickly backed out.
Doomed from the start
Now, can Malaysian figure out why NFC was doomed from the start. The whole idea behind the NFC was not at all what was initially envisioned. The original plan was a professionally laid-out and detailed program to incubate, grow and develop a flourishing livestock industry. It had vision and mission ideals such as achieving set goals like food security and supplying 40% of the nation's beef consumption. Sad to say, what was actually eventually floated was all about politics, political survival and money - lots of money.
The NFC was the ultimate tool; a scheme within a larger scheme where power was wielded and money changed hands. As usual, Mr Oxford graduate Khairy Jamaluddin thought he had all corners covered. But not all the power in the world can turn mutton into lamb.
And it looks like no university in the world, no matter how prestigious, can teach this simple basic lesson of universal goodness and retribution. When an idea born out of good and positive wishes is turned into a selfish and self-serving plan, no amount of packaging or public relations can save it. It is only a matter of time before the plot turns awry and for the Shahrizats and NFC, it took only a quick 3 years for their dream to come crashing down again.
Pirate ship Umno
Apart from karma, NFC failed because it was not implemented in full to ensure success. Only a 'quickie' was pushed through to give an aura of work-being-done. Just the feedlot part of the complex plan was hastily worked out under the guise of “Projek Berimpak Tinggi” or High Impact Project. It was implemented without much thought and proper planning; the NFC was doomed from the start.
Now UMNO has to bear the brunt of the impact of its less than perfect leaders. Shahrizat is being accused of letting everyone down and being very ungrateful for getting both Badawi and Khairy into hot soup. It is sad because such thinking only goes to show how far gone UMNO is on the down road to perdition. Stealing and free-for-all corruption is regarded as its right.
As long as you do it properly and well and spread it around, like Mahathir and sons have been accused of doing, then you are a good leader who is deserving of top party positions, even as high as the presidency. But if you don't know how to 'wipe your mouth' after partaking of the ill-gotten spoils, then you are letting the party down.
Now, who was it who described Umno as a pirate ship - is that description unfair or is it bulls-eye!
Apa hishamuddin cakap ni?? Ahad lepas dia kata kumpulan 13 individu yang ditahan pihak berkuasa di Tawau, Sabah awal minggu ini di bawah Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) sebagai amat berbahaya kepada keselamatan negara dan serantau ini kerana mereka yang ditahan itu "tidak takut mati" dan "mahu mati jihad" .
Hari ini pula dia kata “Kumpulan ini mula muncul pada 2006 dan mahu membunuh seorang Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri tetapi telah anggota antikeganasan telah mematahkan rancangan mereka,”
Anggota antikeganasan telah mematahkan rancangan mereka.. tapi yang hairannya kalau dah dipatahkan rancangan tu.. mesti ada yang dah ditangkap.. tapi apa hal pulak sekarang baru ditangkap?
Baca kedua-dua laporan dibawah dan nilaikan sendiri..
13 Ditahan ISA Di Tawau Amat Bahaya - Hishammuddin KLUANG: Menteri Dalam Negeri Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein mendedahkan kumpulan 13 individu yang ditahan pihak berkuasa di Tawau, Sabah awal minggu ini di bawah Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) sebagai amat berbahaya kepada keselamatan negara dan serantau.
Menurut beliau, kumpulan 13 individu terbabit termasuk enam warga asing "tidak takut mati" dan "mahu mati jihad" amat berbahaya bukan sahaja kepada rakyat Malaysia tetapi seluruh rantau Asia Tenggara.
"Kumpulan ini tidak takut mati dan sememangnya mereka mahu mati dalam jihad," katanya kepada pemberita selepas menghadiri majlis bersama pemimpin Parlimen Semberong di Felda Bukit Tongkat di sini, Sabtu.
Beliau yang juga anggota Parlimen Semberong menyifatkan isu penahanan 13 individu terbabit sebagai "amat serius" dan berkata, pada ketika ini mereka sedang ditahan di pusat tahanan di Tawau.
Hishammuddin juga mendedahkan, operasi penahanan 13 individu yang dilaksanakan oleh unit khas anti keganasan polis turut menemui sejumlah besar senjata api dan bahan letupan.
"Ada (senjata yang ditemui), bukan sedikit dan senjata itu dari (negara) luar," katanya, membuktikan kumpulan individu itu amat berbahaya.
Menteri Dalam Negeri itu turut mendedahkan operasi yang dilaksanakan oleh 13 individu yang ditahan tersebut melibatkan tiga buah negara, tetapi beliau tidak mendedahkan ketiga-ketiga negara terbabit.
Beliau juga berkata, kumpulan terbabit juga menjadikan beberapa tempat dan individu sebagai sasaran mereka.
"Ia melibatkan tiga negara, dengan ada negara tertentu di mana mereka mendapatkan latihan ketenteraan, ada negara dijadikan tempat perancangan dan ada negara di mana tempat serta individu tertentu dilihat sebagai sasaran mereka," katanya.
Dua hari lepas, Hishammuddin berkata beliau ke Indonesia untuk melihat dengan lebih dekat tentang rangkaian kumpulan ini di Malaysia dan negara-negara jiran.
Katanya, Kementerian Dalam Negeri akan memerangi sebarang kegiatan keganasan secara bersungguh-sungguh dan tidak mahu ia dipolitikkan. BERNAMA
Kumpulan 13 ditahan ISA di Sabah rancang bunuh Adun
KUALA LUMPUR, 23 — Seramai 13 suspek pengganas Darul Islam yang ditahan di Tawau, Sabah minggu lalu dipercayai anggota kumpulan yang pernah merancang mahu membunuh seorang Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri tempatan.
Sumber-sumber pasukan antikeganasan dipetik The Star hari ini berkata, anggota kumpulan itu merancang untuk menjadikan seorang pegawai polis sebagai tebusan bagi membebaskan komrad mereka.
Menurut maklumat sumber itu, kumpulan tersebut telah menjalani latihan gerila di Sulawesi, Indonesia dan telah diajar untuk menghasilkan bom.
Ketua kumpulan mereka Abdullah Omar ditahan di Indonesia Julai lalu.
“Kumpulan ini mula muncul pada 2006 dan mahu membunuh seorang Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri tetapi telah anggota antikeganasan telah mematahkan rancangan mereka,” kata sumber itu lagi.
Akhir minggu lalu, Menteri Dalam Negeri Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (gambar) mendedahkan kumpulan 13 individu sebagai amat berbahaya kepada keselamatan negara dan serantau.
Menurut beliau, kumpulan 13 individu terbabit termasuk enam warga asing “tidak takut mati” dan “mahu mati jihad” amat berbahaya bukan sahaja kepada rakyat Malaysia tetapi seluruh rantau Asia Tenggara.
“Kumpulan ini tidak takut mati dan sememangnya mereka mahu mati dalam jihad,” katanya.
Beliau yang juga Ahli Parlimen Semberong menyifatkan isu penahanan 13 individu terbabit sebagai “amat serius” dan berkata, pada ketika ini mereka sedang ditahan di pusat tahanan di Tawau.
Hishammuddin juga mendedahkan operasi penahanan 13 individu yang dilaksanakan oleh unit khas anti keganasan polis turut menemui sejumlah besar senjata api dan bahan letupan.
“Ada (senjata yang ditemui), bukan sedikit dan senjata itu dari (negara) luar,” katanya, membuktikan kumpulan individu itu amat berbahaya.
Menteri Dalam Negeri itu turut mendedahkan operasi yang dilaksanakan oleh 13 individu yang ditahan tersebut melibatkan tiga buah negara.
Beliau juga berkata, kumpulan terbabit juga menjadikan beberapa tempat dan individu sebagai sasaran mereka - The Malaysian Insider