Former federal minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil has defended the purchase of luxury condominiums in Singapore by members of her family, allegedly using government funds meant to be invested in the National Feedlot Centre.

Under cross-examination by Ranjit Singh, she said her family had only used their name to buy the condominiums as their company - National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) - could not obtain a loan.

SNONEhahrizat (left) is suing PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli and the party’s Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin for defamation.

"I was made to understand that, because NFC was a start-up, under Singapore law it could not apply for a loan in the country. So they had do it (make the purchases) under their personal names," she told the Kuala Lumpur High Court today.

However, Shahrizat could not confirm if the money used to purchase the condominiums came from NFC's RM250 million government soft loan, even though the investment was for the company.

She was also uncertain as to how many condominiums in Singapore had been bought in her family's name for NFC, but confirmed there was at least one.

azlanPKR had in December 2011 claimed that Shahrizat's husband Mohamad Salleh Ismail (left) and children Wan Shahinur Izran Mohamad Salleh and Wan Izzana Fatimah Zabedah Mohamad Salleh had purchased a RM10 million 2,282 sq foot luxury condominium unit in Anthony Road.

Rafizi later claimed that Shahrizat's family had bought two more units worth RM34.6 million at the Marina Bay Suites.

'Mercedes for foreign guests'

Shahrizat also defended NFC’s purchase of a luxury car, a Mercedes Benz CLS worth RM534,622, through the family-owned National Meat and Livestock Corporation.

"It was a company car for (NFC's) four directors, (to be used) for foreign guests. It (NFC) is after all a big project.

NONE"They bought it on hire purchase, like many other business enterprises in Malaysia. It is basically for (overseas) partners.”

She stressed that the downpayment for, and use of, the vehicle was shared by the four NFC directors.

When Ranjit asked her to identify the four directors, she conceded that it was her husband and three children. This drew giggles from the public gallery.

Shahrizat also said the car was parked in her family home most of the time, but that she had not queried it until the NFC scandal broke.

There were several humorous moments in court as Ranjit took a tougher stance against Shahrizat who continued to sidestep questions by making statements against Rafizi.

"We can do this until the cows come home," said Ranjit which invited laughter, to which Shahrizat replied "Yes, we can do that".

At one more point, Ranjit told Shahrizat to refer to documents in Bundle B - he then muttered "B for beef", eliciting a smile from Shahrizat and laughter from the gallery.-malaysiakini