NUPW dismisses claims of mismanagement of funds, saying it was all 'mudslinging' during election time.
Speaking to FMT recently, NUPW secretary-general G Sankaran said the allegations surfaced when the union was holding its elections early this year.
“It was right before the NUPW elections, where you would expect mudslinging from all sides, probably from people who are overly ambitious,” he added.
On the allegation that he “staged” an annual general meeting, which had subsequently approved a 14% salary hike for himself, Sankaran said the decision was made by the delegates conference and everything was above board.
“The allegation that my new salary is now RM7,100 is not even correct, it is much lower than that. If you have any issues, you can just come to us directly but no one raised any issue with us,” he said.
Sankaran said even the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had visited the NUPW office over the matter and the director-general of the trade union also investigated the matter.
However, he did not state if NUPW had been cleared of any wrongdoing by MACC.
In a January FMT report, several unnamed union members cried foul over Sankara’s salary hike, amounting to RM274 a day; while ordinary workers were struggling with RM15 a day.
They claimed that the AGM, which they were unaware of, was just a “drama” staged by Sankaran for him and his cronies’ benefit.
They also alleged that Sankara’s position as a secretary-general was invalid as he was not a plantation worker and over 60 years of age.
“After retirement, a worker’s tenure can still be extended and there’s nothing wrong with that,” he added.
In another FMT article, a member of the union had questioned what happened to RM2 million worth of shares which NUPW, had on behalf of its members, invested in (the former) Bank Buruh Bhd in 1990.
The member had claimed that NUPW had never disclosed any information on its assets or investments to union members. The member had also alleged that NUPW had not held an AGM for 10 years.
Sankara said that it was preposterous for the member, if he even was one, to claim that a AGM was not held for 10 years as one must be held every three years.
“All these people are saying nonsense. We are audited internally and externally. The director-general of trade union would inspect our accounts, that is routine,” he said.
Sankara said that according to the director-general, NUPW’s accounts were all in order and there should have been no issues.