Hari Raya light-up scheme: Four charged

Hari Raya light-up scheme: Four charged
Four committee members of Majlis Pusat will be charged in court with cheating involving money bad bookkeeping for the Geylang Seria Hari Raya light-up. They are (from left) Salleh Sam, Saharudin Kassim, Gazaly Melek and Abdul Ghani Tahir.

SINGAPORE - Three former officers of the Malay-Muslim non-governmental organisation Majlis Pusat and the vendor for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri light-up projects were charged yesterday with inflating expenses incurred for the celebrations.

They each face between five and 11 charges, including conspiracy to cheat.

Former secretary-general and president Saharudin Kassim, 52, and former manager Gazaly Malek, 59, a Canadian, are accused of 10 charges each.

They allegedly schemed with then finance secretary Abdul Ghani Tahir, 50, and Salleh Sam, 49, in 2011 to cheat the Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore Totalisator Board, National Population and Talent Division under the National Integration Council Secretariat and the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, by inflating the expenses of Majlis Pusat.

Salleh, who was manager of MCC Events & Production and 7M Natural Sources, was the appointed vendor for the events.

Court documents show that inflated expenses ranging from around $130,000 to $350,000 were submitted to each government agency.

Saharudin, Gazaly and Salleh are said to have inflated expenses for the 2012 light-ups in Geylang Serai in a conspiracy to cheat the Singapore Totalisator Board, National Population and Talent Division and the ministry.

Saharudin, Gazaly and Abdul Ghani were also charged with conspiring to falsify the income and expenditure statement of the 2011 Hari Raya light-up and celebrations of Majlis Pusat by $349,570.

Saharudin and Gazaly are accused of similarly falsifying the income and expenditure statement the following year.

Salleh, an undischarged bankrupt, is also said to have taken part in the management of MCC Events & Production and 7M Natural Sources between July and August 2012 without leave of the High Court or written permission of the Official Assignee. He also allegedly took part in managing MCC Makan Place during the period.

Hamidul Haq acts for the three former officers while F.H. Savliwala is Salleh's counsel.

Their $40,000 bails each have been extended. Their passports have been impounded. A pre-trial conference is set for Feb 26.

If convicted, they could be jailed for up to 10 years and fined on each conspiracy to cheat offence, and up to 10 years and/or fined for falsifying accounts.


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