Court upholds RoS notice on dismissal of Malay chamber’s president

Members of the official executive board of the Malay Chamber of Commerce outside the High Court. From left (in front row): DPMM treasurer-general Zayad Md Ismail, vice-president Abd Halim Husin, deputy president Fauzi Hassan, vice-president Norsyahrin Hamidon and secretary-general Amirhamzah Karim.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here today endorsed a Registrar of Societies (RoS) notice validating the dismissal of former Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia (DPMM) president Rizal Faris Mohideen Abdul Kader.

High Court judge Mariana Yahya endorsed the Sept 4 RoS notice, which stated that Rizal’s dismissal was effective from Nov 22 last year following the decision reached during an extraordinary general meeting called by 18 members of the Malay business body.

The notice said all decisions from the chamber’s annual general meeting (AGM) later that day, where Rizal claimed that he remained president and that the membership of the 18 in the chamber and state chamber was null and void, are invalid.

The notice also said that a subsequent AGM on June 15, convened by Syed Hussein Alhabshee who was then elected as president, was valid, as well as any decisions originating from that second AGM.

Syed Hussein and 17 other DPMM members filed a suit last year accusing Rizal of spending RM5 million allocated by the Prime Minister’s Office.

They said the money was not deposited into the chamber’s account but instead channelled into the account of Yayasan DPMM Pulau Pinang Bhd without approval.

Rizal and Mohamed Shah Abdul Ali are the signatories of Yayasan DPMM Pulau Pinang.

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 approval from the chamber.

The RoS notice said the channelling of the RM5 million into Yayasan DPMM Pulau Pinang’s account contravened Clause 29.1 of the body’s constitution as it did not get the approval of DPMM’s executive board.

The notice added that the executive board appointed during the June 15 AGM must now manage this matter.

Speaking to reporters outside the court, DPMM deputy president Fauzi Hassan said nine individuals from Rizal’s faction, including Rizal and former DPMM secretary-general Don Nazwim Don Najib, are no longer members of the Malay business body, in line with the recommendation of a disciplinary board decision.

Their dismissals were effective May 10.

“They can no longer carry out chamber duties,” he said, adding that they can no longer represent DPMM or state chapters.

Their lawyer, Balan Nair Thamodaran, said the issue of who the rightful officer bearers of DPMM are had come to an end.

“There is a clear order from the RoS and there is now an order from the court to confirm who the rightful officer bearers are,” he told FMT.

In July, the RoS issued a show-cause letter to Rizal asking him to explain why the society should not be deregistered given his various breaches in conduct.

“I have no knowledge of whether there was a reply,” Balan said. “Thirty days were given.

“After the expiry of the 30 days, the RoS issued an order pursuant to Section 3A of the Societies Act 1966 to take a position validating the various meetings carried out and thereby validating the outcome of those meetings.”

Balan said they filed a judicial review against the RoS in June.

His party entered into a consent judgment before Mariana this morning.

DPMM’s executive board will now handle the Penang, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Kelantan, Sabah and Labuan chapters as their respective line-ups have been suspended.

DPMM has also pledged to get back all the money that was purportedly misappropriated.

ROS was represented by Aisyaf Falina, a senior federal counsel from the Attorney-General’s Chambers.