A special audit on the National Farmers Organisation (Nafas) last year uncovered 42 incidents of malpractice, and investigation papers on some of these cases are now with the police and the anti-graft body, said the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry.
In a parliamentary written reply today, the ministry said the audit conducted from March to May 2018, was followed with a suspension of Nafas’ operations from June 2018 to January this year, to enable internal investigations.
“The special audit found 42 instances of wrongdoing by Nafas board of directors, such as possible criminal breach of trust, abuse of power, and the like.
“Nafas appointed 15 individuals to conduct an internal investigation, of which 51 investigation papers were completed.
“Thirty-seven of these papers were submitted to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, five to the police, and Nafas is handling the rest,” the ministry said in a written reply to Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh (Ledang-PH).
Syed Ibrahim asked about plans to revive Nafas and the problems plaguing the farmers’ welfare group.
In its reply, the ministry said Nafas is managed by eight administrators during its suspension period.
The group’s new management has since developed new strategies and directions that are in line with the ministry’s vision.
Nafas and agriculture minister Salahuddin Ayub are currently in the spotlight, after he admitted writing a letter of support for the organisation to get a RM1.4 billion contract to supply fertiliser.
Salahuddin has maintained he did nothing wrong, as writing in support of Nafas was part of his duty as minister to ensure the beleaguered organisation survived.
Its shut down would affect the welfare of 900,000 farmers, he had said.
This was after Wee Ka Siong (Ayer Hitam-BN) recently said Nafas was given the contract by direct negotiation, instead of open tender as initially practised by the ministry.
But Salahuddin had said the contract was not finalised and his letter was only a pitch in favour of Nafas, not a decision.
He added only the Finance Ministry could decide to award the contract. – TMI