KUALA LUMPUR— Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad called today for Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil to quit politics following the controversy over the RM250 million National Feedlot Centre (NFC) project awarded to the her family.
The former prime minister, who is still highly influential in Umno, told a press conference today that the Wanita Umno chief should leave before being “chased out” by her party.
“If we feel it is necessary to quit for the sake of party, we quit. When I wanted to quit, I didn’t ask anyone. I hope others do the same. Don’t wait for people to chase you off.
“Yes, ukur baju di badan sendiri (measure yourself up),” he said when asked if the senator should resign.
The former Lembah Pantai MP had gained the support of both the Youth and her Wanita wings of Umno last week after denying any wrongdoing in the controversy over the national cattle-farming project.
But other leaders including senior Sabah Umno MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin have called for the women, family and community development minister to step down instead of “troubling us.”
PKR has repeatedly attacked the project with various allegations surrounding the “loans” of over RM84 million given by the NFC to companies owned by Shahrizat’s family including RM13.8 million for two luxury condominiums in Bangsar.
The opposition party also pointed out that RM5 million had been spent on the purchase of a Mercedes-Benz, land in Putrajaya and disbursement of RM588,585 in cash to companies belonging to her family as well as over RM455,000 issued to tour agency Impian Global Network Services.
The scandal has led to a police investigation for criminal breach of trust. The Auditor-General’s Report released last month had criticised the NFC, pointing out that it was now “in a mess”.
The report said production in 2010 was only 3,289 head of cattle or 41.1 per cent of the target set.
But Agriculture Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar responded on October 31 that the project was a success as it had met its target of 8,000 cattle by 2010 once 5,742 slaughtered cattle were taken into account.