Judge allows appeal of Ex-NUBE secretary-general

KUALA LUMPUR - It was a happy moment for former National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) secretary-general K. Shanmugam (pic) when the High Court overturned a lower court's decision to convict him for criminal breach of trust (CBT) involving RM8.85 million (S$ 3.4 million) in union funds.

On Feb 23, 2011, Sessions Court judge Azizah Mahamud ruled that the defence had failed to raise any doubts on the prosecution's case and sentenced Shanmugam, 66, to 10 years' jail and fined him RM20,000.

Shanmugam was accused of committing the offence at the union's office in Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman between Jan 1, 1996 and Dec 31, 1996 while holding the position of NUBE investment committee member.

Yesterday, High Court judge Justice Amelia Tee Hong Geok Abdullah held that his conviction for CBT was unsafe and allowed his appeal.

Shanmugam, a father of four, said that his earlier conviction gave the impression that he had swindled the union's money and this had caused him difficulties in securing a proper job.

"My conviction (by the Sessions Court) affected my family life and career. I ended up selling flower pots, fertilisers and books at schools. I survived because of the support of the school headmasters from all over the country. I am thankful to them," he said.

Shanmugam, who had worked as a bank clerk for 25 years, was accused of using union funds for purchasing shares on a contra basis in violation of a NUBE resolution dated Oct 21, 1994.