Commissioner for Oaths helped ‘fix’ accounts

… and admits Samy Vellu did not sign documents in his presence

Frankie D’Cruz, The Malay Mail

A Commissioner for Oaths here has been implicated in the alleged backdating of the annual accounts of the billion-ringgit Maju Institute for Education Development (MIED), the MIC’s troubled education arm.

He is alleged to have attested that MIED chairman and MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu signed two statutory declarations on the MIED financial statements for 2004 and 2005 before him on Oct 15, 2008, and again on Dec 17, of the same year.

Sources said the commissioner admitted to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), which was acting on a report by former MIED chief executive P. Chitrakala Vasu, that Samy Vellu did not endorse the statutory declaration in his presence.

The Malay Mail learnt that Samy Vellu was on Oct 15 that year attending the inaugural convocation of AIMST University in Semeling, Kedah, while his whereabouts on Dec 17 were not known.

This was also confirmed by MIED trustee Tan Sri M. Mahalingam, who in a letter to company secretary Riteq Services Sdn Bhd and the MIED, said all trustees and Samy Vellu were in Semeling on Oct 15 for the convocation.

Mahalingam also stated that he traditionally co-signed the financial statements with Samy Vellu, and was  surprised that the co-signatory for 2004, 2005 and 2006 was another trustee, Datuk Dr T. Marimuthu.

Even though the accounts were signed by Samy Vellu and Marimuthu, the statutory declaration requires only for the person taking responsibility for the financial statements, in this case the former.

The sources said it was peculiar that the external auditors, Kumpulan Naga, also had given their report on the same days that Samy Vellu and Marimuthu had signed the financial statements.

When contacted, Marimuthu said: “I can’t remember. It was a long time ago and I signed many documents.”

Chitrakala had alerted the MACC over irregularities in the institute’s financial accounts for 2004 and 2005 last week in the hope of stopping the 3-in-1 MIED annual general meeting from adopting irregular accounts and misleading members.

In a letter to the MIED company secretary, Chitrakala said: “As the CEO from May 2004 till January 2009, I know, for a fact, that the 2004 and 2005 MIED accounts were not prepared and ready for execution.

“This was because Kumpulan Naga (the external auditors) could not do the consolidation of the MIED accounts as the accounts of AIMST Sdn Bhd, one of its subsidiaries, were not ready at that time.

“I believe the accounts for the years 2004 and 2005 were intentionally backdated with a collateral motive and do not depict the true and actual accounts of MIED,” she said in her letter, a copy of which was made available to The Malay Mail.

“I view these acts of MIED and its auditors Kumpulan Naga as serious and grave breaches of law, especially since MIED is the guardian and trustee of public funds and government grants.”

The accounts for the three years were passed during last Monday’s meeting, much to the chagrin of several MIED members and party leaders who felt that the meeting, the first official one in 26 years, should have been put off pending investigations by the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM).

The CCM, which is investigating MIED for violation of eight sections under the Companies Act 1965, recorded a statement from Chitrakala last Wednesday.

CCM enforcement officers last Friday recorded a statement from former MIC Youth chief S. Vigneswaran, who launched an unprecedented derivative action against the MIED board of trustees under Section 181 of the Companies Act.

If the court rules in his favour, the MIED will become the plaintiff in the suit against the trustees for alleged financial irregularities, abuse of power and negligence.

Samy Vellu, when contacted yesterday, declined to comment.