Rival claims duly elected as Malay chamber’s president

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia’s (DPMM) Syed Hussein Alhabshee today claimed to be the legitimate president of the association, saying he was duly elected during the annual general meeting (AGM) on June 15, attended by the majority of the state chapters.

Syed Hussein also said he did not understand why secretary-general Don Nazwin Don Najib lodged a police report against him and 17 other members yesterday for allegedly misusing the group’s name and facilities.

Rizal Faris Mohideen Abdul Kader, who claims to be DPMM president as well, had also said he regretted the group’s act of using the association’s name illegally.

He said the group had used the association’s letterhead and held a meeting with a minister as association members.

He also accused the group of cheating and spreading false information.

Syed Hussein said although he was elected as DPMM president and had obtained the support of most of its state chapters, he could not amend the online records at the Registrar of Societies (RoS).

“This is because Rizal and Don Nazwin still hold the password to access DPMM’s records on eROSES, the system used by RoS for all associations,” he said.

Vice-president Norsyahrin Hamidon said they had written to the RoS several times informing it of the change in leadership but that they received no response.

“This is only a technical issue,” he added. “But in short, Syed Hussein would be the only person elected as president who could not execute his duties.”

Infighting within the chamber’s top leadership entered the limelight last year when Syed Hussein and 17 members sued Rizal and Don Nazwin over RM5 million which was allocated by the finance ministry to the group before the last general election.

The 18 claimed the money was not deposited into DPMM’s account but instead channelled into Yayasan DPMM Pulau Pinang Bhd’s account without the approval of the chamber’s executive council.

They also claimed RM1 million was credited to DPMM from a company known as “Redberry”, and that Rizal had decided to use the money for an election campaign, also without the approval of the executive council.

The lawsuit was withdrawn after the AGM on June 15.