KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 10 (Bernama) -- Former Women, Family and Community Development minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil told the High Court here that she did not know her second son was involved in the National Feedlot Centre project until informed about it in 2007.
In today's hearing of a defamation suit against Parti Keadilan Rakyat Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin and the party's strategic director, Mohd Rafizi Ramli, Shahrizat said she had been unaware of Wan Shahinur Izran Mohd Salleh's appointment as a director of National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd in December 2006.
"I didn't know about the bidding of the project. I only knew around 2007 after my husband (Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Salleh Ismail) said he intended to have our children return from abroad to help with it.
"It was after he had won the project," she said during cross-examination by Ranjit Singh who represented both the defendants.
To a contention that Wan Shahinur Izran was too young to be a director of the company as he was only 22 years old at the time, Shahrizat said it was not wrong as her son had graduated when he was 19 in the United States and was a top student.
She said Wan Shahinur Izran lived with her since 2004 and the other two children, Wan Shahinur Izmir, 32, and Wan Izzana Fatimah Zabedah, 26, returned home from abroad to join NFC in 2007.
Saying that the family lived together but did not concern themselves with each other's work, she added that she only paid attention to the matter after it was reported in the media and asked her husband for an explanation.
Questioned as to which parts of the defendants' statements during the press conference damaged her reputation, Shahrizat responded, "Their words made the public blame me."
Earlier in the proceedings, the court was shown a video recording of the press conference at Parliament building.
Zuraida and Mohd Rafizi were seen uttering the allegedly defamatory statements before several reporters and photographers.
On Jan 19, Shahrizat filed a defamation suit against Zuraida and Mohd Rafizi claiming they made defamatory statements about her in relation to the NFC issue.
She sought RM50 million in general damages and an additional RM50 million in exemplary and aggravated damages.
She also applied for an injunction to prevent the defendants from making the same statements, either written or verbal, on the matter.
The hearing resumes on Sept 18 before Judicial Commissioner Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera.