Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Jamil Khir Baharom, Yayasan Pembangunan Ekonomi Islam Malaysia (Yapeim) and six others have been taken to court for alleged mismanagement of an orphans' foundation.
Founding members of Yayasan Pembangunan Anak Yatim/Miskin (Foundation for the Advancement of Orphans and the Poor, or Pemangkin) Mohd Yusoff A Bakar and Ahmad Fazli Hashim today filed a RM20 million suit claiming mismanagement and a concerted effort to wind up the foundation.
The two plaintiffs claimed Yapeim had used Pemangkin's funds to sponsor certain irregular programmes by Jamil Khir to Europe, United States and Yapeim's programmes in Australia.
The suit also named Pemangkin's board of trustees' former members Shahlan Ismail, Mohd Yusof Abd Rahman, Mokhtar Abd Razak, Yapeim's chief director who is also Pemangkin's chief executive officer, Abibullah Samsudin, Yapeim's director of legal, quality and administration Sharina Ramli, former company secretary Normala Embi as defendants.
The plaintiffs claimed Yapeim and the other defendants acted in concert to make Pemangkin dormant, and to wind it up secretly without informing and discussing it with founding members.
The ulterior motive, they claimed, was to allegedly cover up all weaknesses, wrongdoings and mismanagement by certain defendants as had been reported by the media on Pemangkin.
It was reported last year that the National Oversight Whistleblowers (NOW) had claimed that Jamil had gone golfing and shopping with Pemangkin's funds, which are meant for orphans and the poor.
As a result of NOW's claim, Jamil filed a suit against the NGO's director Akmal Nasir, but it was struck out by the High Court.
'Stained Pemangkin's image'
In a press release issued by Pemangkin today, the plaintiffs felt certain defendants' actions had adversely affected Pemangkin's image and credibility, where it is supposed to implement and administer educational and welfare programmes for orphans and the poor.
The RM20 million claim, they said, is meant to cover management charges that are due to Pemangkin as well as other losses and damages to be assessed based on the defendant's questionable actions during the time Pemangkin implemented programmes for and on behalf of Yapeim.
Last October, Pemangkin's founding members managed to remove Shahlan, Mohd Yusof and Mokhtar as Yapeim's three nominees from Pemangkin's board of trustees, due to their actions claimed to be in conflict with Pemangkin's interests.
Plaintiffs Mohd Yusoff and Ahmad Fazli were behind the founding of Pemangkin, in response to the tragic tsunami of 2004 that took 200, 00 lives in Banda Acheh, leaving behind many as orphans.
They felt the defendants' alleged attempts to make Pemangkin dormant and wind it up would adversely affect thousands of beneficiaries of their programmes in and outside Malaysia.- Mkini