Bitter public feud ends with acquittal of former MIED chief executive
NO MORE PUBLIC FACE-OFF: High-profile row between Chitrakala (right) and Samy Vellu (left) has now ended
KUALA LUMPUR: The bitter, high-profile feud involving former chief executive of MIC’s education arm, Maju Institute of Educational Development (MIED), P. Chitrakala Vasu and her mentor Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, is finally off the public radar.
Disclosures of alleged murky financial dealings of the MIC that were to have been laid bare, have dissipated following the acquittal and discharge of the mother-of- four on three counts of cheating yesterday.
The Sessions Court here freed Chitrakala, 40, on charges of allegedly siphoning off RM4 million from MIED, considered the jewel in the crown of the MIC.
The court was told Chitrakala returned the money to MIED in one lump sum on July 29, prompting the Attorney General’s Chambers to drop the charges against her on Sept 6.
Former MIC secretary-general Tan Sri M.Mahalingam whom she was alleged to have induced to sign three cheques for RM1 million, RM1 million and RM2 million, respectively, in 2007, was relieved at the outcome of the trial.
“I am glad a bitter chapter on MIED and the MIC has ended,” said Mahalingam who was a director and signatory of MIED Sdn Bhd. He said there was no loss to MIED as the money was returned in full to MIED Capital Sdn Bhd.
“I am glad the matter was resolved amicably and had I testified, I would have said exactly what I stated in my police report,” he said.
The former party stalwart said he was due to testify on the same day the charges were withdrawn.
“Chitrakala is a good friend and I wished her well in her future endeavours when she called to inform me of the outcome."
He declined comment on a suggestion that Chitrakala had admitted guilt by returning the RM4 million.
An online news report stated Chitrakala ignored the same question when asked after her acquittal and discharge yesterday.
Chitrakala was not available for comment.
Mahalingam echoed the views of ex-colleagues of Samy Vellu and Chitrakala that the relationship between the two would never be the same again.
It is widely held that former MIC president Samy Vellu won the fight with Chitrakala, who was his one-time confidante and the only woman to do battle with him.
The Samy Vellu-Chitrakala row was one of the most intense during the flamboyant politician’s three decades as president of the MIC as it revolved around misappropriation of MIED funds and cost overruns in the construction of the AIMST campus project.
The woman factor in the spat heightened public attention amid alleged shady dealings involving MIED and AIMST university and other colleges it operates.
Both individuals traded allegations over who was responsible for the RM5 million MIED funds that went missing.
On May 11 last year, Chitrakala claimed trial to cheating Mahalingam and was released on a RM 30,000 bail.
She was alleged to have deceived him into believing the payments, which were made to Silver Line Services Sdn Bhd, were loan repayments to one Abdul Rashid Manaf, 65.
The trial started on April 6 with Samy Vellu and his son, Vell Paari, testifying against Chitrakala.
Chitrakala joined MIED as an accountant in the late 1990s and resigned in 2002 before being brought back on board in 2004 as its CEO.
Samy Vellu retired as MIC president on December 6 but remains as MIED chairman.
MIED was incorporated as company limited by membership in 1984 and was always advertised to the Indian community as MIC’s education arm.
Reportedly worth more than RM1 billion, its core business is providing study loans to needy Indian students.