Split continues in Malay chamber, faction opens new office

Syed Hussein Alhabshee claims he has support of majority of Malay Chamber of Commerce members. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: A rival faction of the Malay Chamber of Commerce (DPMM), that filed a suit against its former president for alleged misconduct, has decided to operate from a separate office while awaiting a court decision on their dispute next month.

Syed Hussein Alhabshee, who claims he is now acting president, said the faction had also written a letter on Jan 11 to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad declaring itself the legitimate DPMM, representing the majority of the members.

The dispute started when 18 members, led by Syed Hussein, questioned the whereabouts of RM5 million allocated to the chamber by the Prime Minister’s Department.

They said the money was channelled into Yayasan DPMM Pulau Pinang’s account without the approval of the DPMM executive council.

In September, they filed a suit against DPMM president Rizal Faris Mohideen Kader, secretary-general Don Nazwim Don Najib and DPMM as the first, second and third defendants respectively.

“Our members want to know what happened to the RM5 million. We still don’t know,” Syed Hussein said.

DPMM members under the faction have also reported the matter to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

The faction today said it had informed the Registrar of Societies (ROS) about its new office in Ampang.

Syed Hussein said he had the support of the majority of the members, including eight out of 14 of DPPM’s state division presidents and the deputy head of the Sabah division.

“Despite this, Rizal is still adamant,” he told FMT.

The faction said a court had ruled on Nov 21 that the DPMM executive council was the highest authority and had ordered it to convene to settle the dispute.

An executive council meeting was held on Nov 21 and a motion was made to hold the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) the following day.

They said the executive council had also agreed to postpone the annual general meeting (AGM) to a different date.

During the EGM, a total of 89 out of 92 delegates supported a resolution to sack Rizal as the president, following various allegations.

The decision meant that Syed Hussein, who was deputy president, was to assume duties as the chamber’s acting president.

Rizal has rejected all resolutions made during the EGM which he said was unconstitutional.

Rizal and his supporters held an AGM just hours after the EGM.

He maintained that he was still the DPMM president and claimed that there was no motion to hold an EGM during the executive council meeting held on Nov 21.

He was also reported as saying that the 18 members who filed the suit and other members present during the EGM will face disciplinary action.

Rizal, who is also the head of DPMM’s Penang chapter, was elected as president for three years in May last year.