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‘Probe mismanagement of temple funds’

 | June 17, 2012

Grassroots DAP leaders are demanding to know why a member of the Penang Hindu Endowment Board who was to have been removed is still there.

GEORGE TOWN: Two DAP grassroots leaders have called on the Pakatan Rakyat state government to probe into alleged malpractices in the Penang Hindu Endowments Board (PHEB)

Bagan parliamentary division acting secretary G Asoghan and Jalan Bagan Luar branch deputy chairman C Shanmugam said they have received public complaints alleging that PHEB has been marred by misappropriation of funds, nepotism and cronyism.

They said they will be writing an official letter to Chief Minister and DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng and, party national chairman Karpal Singh and Penang head Chow Kon Yeow urging them to investigate the allegations.

They cautioned that if no probes were forthcoming,  the public will lodge reports with  the police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

“But we are hopeful it won’t go to that extent,” they told FMT.

The duo cited a public allegation that the Waterfall hilltop temple, Arulmigu Balathandayuthabani Kovil, management committee had hijacked  some RM200,000 contribution given by a telecommunications company early this year.

They said the donation should have been handed over to the PHEB board of commissioners and deposited in the board’s accounts.

Instead, they claimed that the temple committee hijacked the money and deposited it under its own account with a help of one of the commissioner.

“If it is true, it amounts to criminal breach of trust,” the duo said.

Asoghan and Shanmugam also questioned the continued presence of  one  continued Joethi Elemperu Valuthi on PHEB.

They want Chief Minister Lim to clarify why Valuthi is still working in PHEB when his contract had expired last month.

Karpal-Ramasamy feud

Valuthi was among the five hand-picked appointees of Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy. Ramasamy is also the PHEB chairman .

The other four are K Mangaleswary, K Anbalakan and S Gunalan. All of them have been removed as commissioners. The  current board executive director M Ramachandran’s contract ends later this year.

Under the party truce to end the Karpal – Ramasamy row, all five were to be removed from PHEB.

According to Karpal, Ramasamy had agreed to do so unconditionally.

However, it is learnt that Ramasamy with help of certain commissioners is trying to renew Valuthi’s employment contract, which has not gone down well with grassroots party members.

Ramasamy meanwhile declined to respond to FMT’s numerous calls and text messages.

Asoghan and Shanmugam alleged that Valuthi was among the main persons involved in organising the anti-Karpal demonstration at state DAP convention in Prai last Dec.

Valuthi was allegedly seen and heard shouting “Pencenlah Bhai. Pencenlah Bhai” when Karpal arrived for the convention.

Meanwhile in an March article published in an online blog, The Mole,  Valuthi had again criticised Karpal of violating party rules by taking PHEB matters to the media.

“Joethi (Valuthi) had attacked out national chairman and yet the DAP government wants to keep his job in PHEB.

“It’s embarrassing us and insulting our own chairman,” the duo argued.


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