Monday, August 16, 2010

Two charged over Pempena scandal

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 — Two top officials of scandal-plagued Pempena Sdn Bhd were charged this morning with cheating in what are the first prosecutions involving the controversial Tourism Ministry subsidiary set up during Datuk Seri Azalina Othman's tenure as minister.

Today's prosecution is the culmination of a scandal which broke while Azalina (picture) was still minister in 2007.

Pempena chief operating officer Mohammad Rosly Selamat and financial controller Lim Khing Tai were brought to face criminal breach of trust charges involving RM169,700 this morning.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had been investigating Pempena for financial improprieties believed to involve more than RM50 million.

The MACC had originally probed claims that Azalina, the former tourism minister, had hired 20 employees in Pempena although government regulations allow a minister to employ only eight people.

The MACC probe focused on Pempena and its affiliates — Malaysian Travel Business Sdn Bhd and SD Corp Communications Sdn Bhd — which had excessive staff on their payroll.

The Malaysian Insider



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