The claws are out. Both sides have resorted to publicly calling each other a thief.
In what is becoming an increasingly venomous spat, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu accused former Maju Institute of Educational Development chief executive officer P. Chitrakala Vasu of being a “thief devoid of any morals”.
His astonishing broadside came in the wake of a press conference held by Chitrakala on Saturday, during which she accused Samy Vellu of misdeeds and charged that “top officials” had dipped their fingers into the MIED kitty.
In a report lodged at the Shah Alam police station, Chitrakala said she was informed that many files were removed from the MIED office on Jan 2 on the instructions of a “top MIC official”.
Samy Vellu said yesterday her comments were those of a desperate woman being investigated by police for criminal misappropriation of funds.
“There has never been a greater case of breach of trust by an employee of MIED.
“She is nothing more than a thief devoid of any morals and standards of decency.
“Let me say in no uncertain terms that she and others who are responsible for the misappropriation of MIED funds will be brought to book.
“No amount of threats and personal attacks on me will deter me from that cause.”
Chitrakala was equally vocal in her criticism. When contacted, she said: “If that’s what he wants to say, you can publish it. But only a thief will call somebody else a thief.”
She voiced disappointment that most of the mainstream media only covered Samy Vellu’s side of the story.
“If Samy Vellu says something, it will be in the news. So, let him say what he wants. I’ll leave it to the police to find out who really is responsible for the money stolen from the Indian community.
“Let him deny that he hijacked MIED. Let him deny that he hijacked MIC.
“It makes me laugh to hear him calling me a thief. Why isn’t he using the RM2 million collected for the 2004 tsunami victims to help the Sri Lankan Tamils now?
“At that time, he said the victims already had a lot of money and did not need any more. Why isn’t he giving it to the suffering Tamils now?”
The spat between Samy Vellu and the 38-year-old mother of four revolves around the institute and cost overruns for its project — the Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology (AIMST) campus in Sungai Petani.
Last December, Tan Sri M. Mahalingam, a signatory of MIED cheques, was removed as MIC treasurer-general in a move described by Samy Vellu as part of an MIC rebranding exercise.
Chitrakala, who joined MIED as an accountant in the late 1990s, resigned in 2002. She was brought back on board in 2004 as its CEO.
MIED, whose core business is providing study loans, sourced millions of ringgit from the Indian community, received about RM300 million from the government and acquired a RM220 million loan from Bank Pembangunan Malaysia to build the AIMST campus.
The cost of construction ballooned from an initial RM230 million to close to RM500 million.
MIC’s probe into the fiasco revealed the disappearance of RM5.25 million.
Top MIC officials dipped their fingers into the MIED kitty ?
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