GEORGE TOWN, Dec 9 — Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy is open to being investigated over allegations of criminal breach of trust against him.
The Penang Hindu Endowment Board (PHEB) chairman said the authorities can “thoroughly” investigate him and he will not have any issues with it.
“This is not the first time that a police report has been lodged against me, I have so many reports lodged against me before this,” he said in a press conference over allegations made against him by a PHEB executive director, Datuk M. Ramachandran.
He said the national audit department came to PHEB to look through the documents due to the allegations made by Ramachandran.
“They came and went through the documents and went off after half a day when initially they were supposed to be here for five days,” he said.
He said Ramachandran had alleged that he had given out scholarships and welfare aid to his cronies through the PHEB.
Ramasamy said all decisions on scholarships and welfare aid by PHEB are decided by the board of commissioners and not by the chairman alone.
He pointed out that he is not the sole signatory for cheques issued by PHEB as it has to be signed by the PHEB secretary who is also a civil servant.
“We must remember that in 2021, we got a clean cert from the national audit department,” he said.
Ramasamy claimed that the accusations Ramachandran hurled against him, through an online portal, was the latter’s way of diverting attention from an internal investigation against him.
“PHEB and its board of commissioners are actually carrying out an internal investigation which started in late October 2022 against Ramachandran for alleged various misconduct and abuse of power,” he said.
Following the allegations made by Ramachandran, Ramasamy said PHEB has lodged a police report yesterday against Ramachandran and the reporter of the article, Athi Shanker, and the news portal, Berita Malaysia Online, that published the allegations.
“I understand that Ramachandran has also lodged a report against me,” he said.
He said Ramachandran was also suspended from his post due to the allegations of misconduct against him pending an internal investigation.
He said initially PHEB had offered Ramachandran a retirement package but now that the latter has decided to issue defamatory statements against PHEB, the package is now no longer valid.
“He will be suspended till the completion of the internal investigation and if he is found guilty of the misconduct, appropriate action will be taken against him and if he is found not guilty, he will be reinstated,” he said.
He said Ramachandran was issued the suspension letter and escorted out of his office earlier today.
Ramasamy said he has also instructed his lawyers to initiate legal action against Athi Shanker, Ramachandran and Berita Malaysia Online for defamation and publishing misinformation about the PHEB.