KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 6 (Bernama) -- Former Women, Family and Community Development minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil told the High Court today that she was not involved in the approval process or the running of the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) Sdn Bhd.
Shahrizat, 59, who testified in the libel hearing against Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin and its strategy director, Mohd Rafizi Ramli, also described the press releases and statements made by the defendants as personal attacks against her as minister and Wanita Umno chief.
"It's as though the NFC was used solely as an instrument to attack me personally. You'll find that in most instances, the defendants referred to NFC as 'a company owned by Shahrizat's family', 'a company owned by Shahrizat's husband or Shahrizat's children'.
"The defendants have spun this whole story in their attempt to maliciously attack me in my standing as minister and Wanita Umno and Wanita Barisan Nasional chief," she said during examination-in-chief by Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.
Shahrizat said she believed that the opposition had calculated and designed to make her the primary target of their attacks and that it had never been about getting to the truth of the NFC issue.
"It's more of their grand design to discredit and malign me as a politician, minister and Barisan Nasional leader. If you review the statements and allegations made concerning the NFC, the defendants don't seem interested in the response by the NFC itself but more concerned with getting my response simply because I happen to be married to the NFC chairman.
Shahrizat said she had been cleared of any impropriety and absolved of exerting any influence on NFC's decision-making process after an investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission(MACC) on May 31
Shahrizat claimed that Rafizi had made a sweeping conclusion that she was liable for everything involving the NFC and had suggested that she apologise to the Malaysian public for some alleged criminality or wrongdoing.
"This is unfair and simply adds to the hate campaign against me. Basically almost everybody I met informed me that as a result of the defendants' campaign, these unfounded accusations against me have become a topic of conversation even on the Internet and social networks," she said.
Shahrizat further stated that Zuraida had implied and insinuated that she was pocketing unlawful gains.
"She was implying that I'm out rightly corrupt," she said, alluding to phrases like "the difference goes into her pocket" and "they keep in their pockets."
Shahrizat claimed that Zuraida, in her statements, had also stated that she (Shahrizat) had no integrity as a woman and a leader of high position and had created an analogy between her and a cow.
"These words are insulting and defamatory in their natural meaning. I believe that these words were used maliciously and have certainly crossed the line to disparage me.
On Jan 19, Shahrizat filed a libel suit against Zuraida and Mohd Rafizi over their statements which allegedly slandered her with regard to the NFC.
Shahrizat is seeking RM50 million in general damages and an additional RM50 million for aggravated and exemplary damages against the two defendants.
She also applied for an injunction to halt the defendants from issuing the said statements either verbally or in print.
The hearing will resume on Friday before Judicial Commissioner Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera.