Going by the rate on how opposition PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli exposing CowGate scandal, it’s hard to see how PM Najib can retain Shahrizat – Senator cum back-door Minister cum Minister of Women, Family and Community Development. If for some weird reasons Najib decided that Shahrizat is a winnable candidate and the opposition miraculously win the next general election, the opposition (would then be referred to as government) would have two lucky stars to thank – Rafizi and Shahrizat.
Of course, Najib would be shown the exit door by his own UMNO party with his tail between his legs for being so blind and ignorant about the impact of the scandal, something which is easily understandable and despised by the rural folks who voted blindly and loyally to Najib administration. Really, it’s not that difficult to understand the whole RM250 million fiasco and why the most illiterate rural folks would shake their heads in disbelieve about the cow business turns sour (or rather greedy).
With components such as overseas trips, plots of land purchases, half a million ringgit Mercedes Benz CLS 350 CGI, naughty allegation of RM26,000 bra, at least three fine-dining restaurants (Meatworks, Senor Santos and Brawns Steakhouse), RM9.8 million condo at One Menerung, Bangsar, luxury condo at Orchard Scotts and now another two condos at Marina Bay Financial Center suites costing RM34.6 million, this is perhaps the easiest jigsaw puzzle for a small kid.
A project about cattle-rearing was mooted. A minister told the Cabinet (or rather the Agricultural Minister at the time) that her husband was capable of leading the project and it was awarded without proper tenders being called, never mind the hubby knows nuts about cow rearing simply because the minister was one of UMNO warlords in her capacity as the UMNO Wanita (women) Chief.
Fat salaries were drawn up to Shahrizat’s family members – Shahrizat’s husband Mohammad Salleh Ismail as NFCorp Chairman draws $100,000 salary monthly, 31-year-old son Izmir draws RM45,000 monthly as executive director, another son Wan Shahinur Izran aged 27 draws RM35,000 a month as CEO while 25 year-old daughter Wan Izzanah Fatimah draws RM35,000 as the other director – for a total sum of easy and nice RM215,000 monthly.
The mouth-watering RM250 million invited “super investment ideas” hence the purchases of luxury car and condos for personal consumptions using the money originally allocated for the cattle-rearing project. If there’re indeed more explosive revelations from Rafizi about the scandal, you can bet your money that it’s all about condos again. Heck, how Shahrizat wish the project is called National Condo Corporation and not National Feedlot Corporation, judging by her (family) talents in “property investment” (*grin*).
If her predecessor, Rafidah Aziz was known as AP Queen, there’s no doubt Shahrizat is now known as Condo Queen. Spin as she wish but the fact that the two Marina Bay suites bought at a cost of RM34.6 million which requires a monthly payment of RM173,000 for 25 years was sufficient to trigger corruption or criminal breach of trust charges – if this happens elsewhere. But of course in Malaysia, it was considered abnormal and even insulting to invite the Minister to the Anti-Corruption Agency for curry puffs and teh-tarik session in disguise of investigation.
The two condos, located on the 8th (costing S$7,114,000) and 11th floor (costing S$7,177,000) of posh Marina Bay Financial Center Tower 1, Central Boulevard, as per according to titles from the Singapore Land Authority, are registered under Shahrizat’s husband and son, Mohammad Salleh Ismail and 27-year-old Wan Shahinur Izran respectively. The total sum of about RM62 million for all the condos exposed so far easily dwarf former Selangor Chief Minister Khir Toyo’s RM24 million mansion scandal. Nevertheless, any condominium in Singapore with Marina Bay address is definitely luxury and posh.
The construction of the Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) development comprises two phases, with its first phase completed in 3Q 2010. MBFC is developed by a joint venture partnership of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited/Hutchison Whampoa, Hongkong Land and Keppel Land. The entire development will be completed in 2013. The first phase consists of the office Towers 1 (33 storeys of which the controversial condos located) and 2 (50 storeys), Marina Bay Residences with 428 units and 93,800 square feet (8,710 m2) of the retail mall. The second phase comprises office Tower 3 (46 storeys), 82,200 square feet (7,640 m2) of the retail mall and Marina Bay Suites (which will be completed in 2013).
Interestingly, Shahrizat family-owned Brawn Steakhouse is located on ground floor of Marina Bay Link Mall so it must be part of the plan to own condos within the same area to facilitate family business management, not to mention the Singapore F1 Grand Prix at the Marina Bay street circuit was nearby. Even if this scandal is not the final nail in UMNO’s coffin, the upcoming controversial 1Care national healthcare enforcement may be the one, but that would be another story for another day. Let’s enjoy the magnificent view of Marina Bay Financial Center suites, shall we?
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