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Shahrizat did not know her son was appointed director of NFCorp until much later
Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil only knew about her family's involvement in the National Feedlot project in 2007, months after the project was awarded to Agroscience Industries Sdn Bhd, the High Court was told yesterday.
Shahrizat said she knew that the project was awarded to the company only after her husband, Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail, who is the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) executive chairman, informed her that he wanted to bring their two children back from overseas.
"He wanted them to help him manage the project," she testified in her RM100 million defamation suit against Parti Keadilan Rakyat strategic director Mohd Rafizi Ramli and Ampang member of parliament Zuraida Kamaruddin.
During cross-examination by Rafizi's counsel Ranjit Singh at the High Court yesterday, Shahrizat said the two children were Wan Shahinur Izmir, 32, and Wan Izzana Fatimah Zabedah, 26.
She said their other son, Wan Shahinur Izran, 28, was already in the country.
Ranjit: Were you aware that your son, Izran, was appointed as the NFCorp director in 2006?
Ranjit: Are you saying that your young 22 year-old son had became a director for a high-impact project and you didn't know about it?
Shahrizat: It's our family culture that while we are staying in the same house, we lead very independent lives.
She added that Izran had returned to Malaysia in 2004 after he graduated from a university at California in the United States in 2003.
"He came back to work with his father. He said he wanted to be a young entrepreneur," she said adding that she also did not know that Izran was appointed as a director in Agroscience Industries and was a shareholder in the company.
She denied having any knowledge on the award of the project to Agroscience Industries before her husband told her in 2007.
In relation to Rafizi's counter-claim against her, Shahrizat said Rafizi's alleged defamatory statements against her were more heinous than what she allegedly said to Rafizi.
Rafizi had on March 8 filed the counter-claim alleging that Shahrizat had defamed him in her opening address at the Wanita Umno general assembly on Nov 30 last year.
Earlier yesterday, the court was shown several video clips of press conferences by Rafizi and Zuraida held in the Parliament lobby where the two allegedly defamed Shahrizat.
Shahrizat, who is also Wanita Umno chief, filed the suit in Jan 19, claiming that the defendants held press conferences at various locations, including at Parliament lobby, and had orchestrated the attack against NFCorp, her husband and family.
In her statement of claim, Shahrizat said the words used by Rafizi were meant to mean that she was involved in the award process of the feedlot project and, therefore, involved in misappropriation.
The former Women, Family and Community Development minister also claimed that the words used by Zuraida implied that she was involved in the "mark up" and subsidising of meat products from NFCorp so that she and her family could pocket the difference.
Both Rafizi and Zuraida were present in court yesterday. Shahrizat was represented by Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah while Razlan Hadri acted for Zuraida.
Hearing continues on Sept 18.