Former dean charged over false claims

GEORGETOWN - A former Universiti Sains Malaysia dean claimed trial at the Sessions Court here to three counts of making false travel claims amounting to RM1,242 (S$492.48).

Prof Dr Ambigapathy Pandian, 56, from the School of Language, Literacies and Translation, is alleged to have committed the offences on Feb 10, 2010, and June 7, 2010, at the university's main campus in Minden.

In the first charge on Feb 10, he allegedly submitted travel claims to deceive financial administrative assistant Haryatie Zainor that he had travelled 800km between Feb 6 and Feb 8 to carry out field work and data collection.

His claims were for travelling in his Mercedes-Benz when he had used the university's official car, a Proton Perdana, for the trip.

In the second charge on June 7, Dr Ambigapathy allegedly made claims for carrying out research work at USM's Kubang Kerian campus in Kelantan and Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, travelling 360km on Feb 6, and later to Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) on Feb 7, covering 160km. The claims were allegedly paid to Dr Ambigapathy on March 23, 2010.

In the third charge on June 7 as well, he was alleged to have deceived Haryatie by submitting claims for carrying out research work in UMT on Feb 8, departing the night before and returning to Penang on Feb 9, covering a distance of 520km. But, it was alleged that he did not make the trip to UMT.

He is charged under Section 18 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act and punishable under Section 24 of the same Act.

Judge Khairul Anuar Abdul Halim set bail at RM8,000 in one surety and fixed Aug 16 for mention.

DPP Janariah Abdul Mutalib was the prosecutor while M. Athimulan represented Dr Ambigapathy.