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Tuesday August 17, 2010

Two Pempena ex-officers plead not guilty to CBT

KUALA LUMPUR: Two former high-ranking officers from Pempena Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of the Tourism Ministry, pleaded not guilty to criminal breach of trust involving RM169,770 at the Sessions Court here.

Former chief operations officer Mohammad Rosly Md Selamat, 56, and former financial controller Lim Khing Tai, 38, jointly charged in their capacities as office bearers, were said to have committed CBT on Aug 15, 2006, at the Pempena office in Putra World Trade Centre here.

They were accused yesterday of dishonestly paying RM169,770 via four cheques to Ummi Hafilda Ali as sponsorship fee to organise a concert for Egyptian singer Amr Diab when they knew that payment had yet to be approved by Pempena’s board of directors.

Ummi Hafilda was a key witness in the Anwar Ibrahim sodomy and abuse of power trials in 1999.

Sessions Court judge Rozana Ali Yusoff allowed bail of RM20,000 in one surety each and set Sept 6 for the case to be mentioned.

She ordered Lim to surrender his passport, and Mohammad Rosly to give his to the court on Sept 6 on his return from a family reunion in Melbourne, Australia.

The two could be jailed a maximum 20 years, whipped and fined if convicted under Section 409 of the Penal Code read together with Section 34 of the same Code.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Anas Mahadzir represented the prosecution, while Rejinder Singh acted for Mohammad Rosly, and Cheow Wee for Lim.

In October last year, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen had pledged thorough investigations into Pempena, which was believed to be involved in bad investments, criminal breach of trust and financial improprieties amounting to more than RM50mil.

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