Missing files add latest twist to MIED saga

(Bernama) – The saga over contracts awarded by the Maju Institute of Educational Development (MIED) has taken an unexpected twist with a high-ranking MIC official lodging two police reports over files that had gone missing.

The files in question belonged to the party’s education arm, which runs the Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology (AIMST) in Kedah. The reports, lodged at the Dang Wangi police station and the Sentul district police headquarters, allege that files pertaining to the AIMST contracts were missing from the party headquarters in Jalan Rahmat, off Jalan Ipoh, here. The reports, made three days ago, were lodged by MIC vice-president Datuk S. Sothinathan, who was appointed to the MIED board of directors barely a month ago. Sentul district police chief ACP Zakaria Pagam today confirmed the reports had been made and said the case had been referred to the commercial crime division. “There are two reports. One was made at Dang Wangi and another at Sentul. We have referred the case to the commercial crime division. We are investigating the matter,” he told Bernama. However, Zakaria did not reveal the contents of the reports but confirmed that they were about some MIED files missing from the party headquarters. The party’s education arm has been mired in controversy after it was found that the cost of AIMST, which opened its doors two years ago, had ballooned from an early estimate of RM230 million to over RM500 million. Late last month, Tan Sri M. Mahalingam, a signatory of MIED cheques, was removed as MIC treasurer-general by party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, who said the move was part of MIC’s rebranding exercise and that there was a need to inject new blood into the party. It is also noted that MIED chief executive officer P. Chitrakala Vasu has been on leave since. The party top echelon had, a week ago, appointed a three-member independent panel of lawyers to investigate the financial woes of the MIED, which runs AIMST through MIED Capital Sdn Bhd, and the reason for the increase in costs. The panel was also entrusted with the task of reviewing all MIED contracts given out for the construction and maintenance of AIMST. There had been news reports that some irregularities had taken place with regard to the awarding of the contracts, especially those which involved landscaping and providing of security. Contacted today, Mahalingam said he was not in charge of the MIED files during his tenure but was merely a signatory of MIED cheques by virtue of having been the party treasurer-general. 

“The files are handled by the administrative personnel at the headquarters. I am willing to cooperate with the police if the need arises. On my part, I don’t have anything to hide,” he said.