Observers told FMT that the looming court battle with regard to the
Maju Institute for Education Development (MIED) would “open a can of
“This is a Tamil movie thriller with all the right kind of 'masala'
(hit-making ingredients),” exclaimed an MIC source, who could not
contain his excitement.
He also pointed out that with the case, MIED's “closely guarded”
procedures would also come out into the open.
And according to him, Chitrakala herself has been looking foward for
this opportunity in order to reveal all.
“Since the scandal erupted, she has complained of not being given a
proper platform to clear her name, especially on the accusations
levelled against her by the MIC president (S Samy Vellu).
“If you remember, the president, who was very fond of her at one
time, had branded her a liar and a thief. She is a bold woman and she's
going to use the courtroom to spill all the beans,” he added.
This morning, Chitrakala, 39, was charged with three counts of
cheating to the tune of RM4 million at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.
She was accused of cheating former MIC treasurer-general M
Mahalingam, 74, who was a director and signatory of MIED Sdn Bhd, by
inducing him to sign three cheques for RM1 million, RM1 million and RM2
Chitrakala has claimed trial, and the case is up for mention on June
Samy Vellu and other MIC bigwigs such as former vice-president S
Sothinathan and education bureau chief Prof T Marimuthu are expected to
take the stand.
Marimuthu is one of the three signatories for the issuance of MIED
checques, the other two being Mahalingam and Samy Vellu.
Enter the 'powers
Legal experts also
pointed out that the courtroom battle could take years on the ground of
appeals being filed with the higher courts.
This, said MIC sources, would be bad for both the party and its
Meanwhile, the sources also claimed that the “powers that be” were
attempting to use this court battle to apply greater pressure on Samy
Vellu to make an early exit from the helm.
“It is an open secret that some parties in BN (Barisan Nasional) want
him out. They see him as a stumbling block to winning back Indian
votes,” said a source.
Previously, there have been news reports claiming that Prime Minister
NajibTun Razak and Umno have been pushing the MIC president for a
In a related development, Sothinathan told FMT that he welcomed the
move to charge Chitrakala, but felt that it was “long overdue”.
“The report was filed in 2008. I believe the authorities must have
carried out a very extensive investigation into the matter before taking
the appropriate action,” he said.
Since the case involved public funds, the former deputy minister
stressed that the court process should be expedited.
Despite the many issues which might crop up during the course of the
trial, Sothinathan believes that the process is good for MIC.
“A wrong is a wrong, and those who commit an offence must be brought
to book. But we should refrain from (spreading) rumours and allow the
court to do its work,” he said.
Sothinathan, who got the ball rolling when he lodged a police report
on missing MIED files, is also prepared to be called in to testify at
“I would give my fullest cooperation,” he said.
On the other hand, MIC Youth adviser S Vell Paari was unfazed about
being summoned to take the stand as speculated by Tamil dailies.
“This would not be the first time that I am asked to come to court,
and I am sure it would not be the last either,” he quipped. “So I am
Vell Paari, who is Samy Vellu's son, told FMT that the trial would
help clear the air on the MIED issue.
“Everybody tried to paint a different picture. The whole thing was
made to look in a way to damage MIC and MIED. This (the trial) is a good
thing,” he said.
Ex-MIED officer pleads not guilty to cheating charges
Former Maju Institute of
Educational Development (MIED) chief executive officer P. Chithirakala
Vasu claimed trial at the Sessions Court yesterday to three counts of
cheating amounting to RM4 million.
She was alleged to have deceived MIED's former
director Tan Sri M. Mahalingam, 74, a MIED Capital Sdn Bhd cheque
signatory, into believing that three cheques amounting to RM4 million
were paid to lawyer Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Manaf, 64, as a loan repayment.
The cheques, however, were made out to two companies -- Silver Line
Services Sdn Bhd and Wira Jernish Sdn Bhd -- which belonged to
Chithirakala, 39, and her husband.
The offences were allegedly
committed at the MIED office premises in Menara Manickavasagam here on
Jan 9, Jan 30 and May 3, 2007.
Each offence carried a maximum
jail term of 10 years and fine.
Deputy public prosecutor
Kevin Morais from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)
proposed bail at RM30,000 with one surety for all the charges.
Counsel Saseedharan Menon, however, pleaded to the
court to lower the bail to RM20,000 as Chithirakala had cooperated with
the police and the MACC during investigations.
Mahamud maintained the RM30,000 bail with one surety offered by the
prosecution for all the charges and fixed June 14 for mention.
Chithirakala was the chief executive officer of MIED, an education arm
of MIC which was involved in giving out scholarships for needy Indian
students, as well as the main body which oversaw the party's AIMST
P. CHITHIRAKALA, the
former chief executive officer of the Maju Institute of Educational
Development (MIED) was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption
Commission in Putrajaya on Monday.
She was initially told to
report to the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya for an interview but was
later arrested for alleged mismanagement of funds and cheating.
It was reported in the New Straits Times that she had been arrested by a
team of policemen from Bukit Aman. The error is regretted.