Institut Profesional Baitulmal board did not decide to investigate CEO, court told

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, the Institut Profesional Baitulmal Sdn Bhd chairman, has admitted in the High Court here that the company's board of directors did not decide to conduct investigations into its chief executive officer (CEO) Dr Syed Omar Syed Agil for misconduct.

Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, 78, agreed with Dr Syed Omar's lawyer, Amer Hamzah Arshad, that the minutes of a board meeting on July 31, 2015 did not reveal any decision about investigations.

Dr Syed Omar, 56, is seeking protection as a whistleblower for exposing alleged financial improprieties of his colleagues.

However, Ismail agreed that he had issued a letter dated Aug 3 last year to a seconded officer from the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) to probe the CEO for misconduct.

Dr Syed Omar, who was suspended as CEO on Oct 7 last year, is seeking an injunction to restrain the company from continuing an internal probe against him.

He was made the CEO of Institut Profesional Baitulmal Sdn Bhd – which is 70% owned by MAIWP – on Sept 1, 2014. The company runs a private college under the same name.

Ismail also denied that he had an intention to victimise the CEO for raising financial issues of the company.

However, Ismail agreed that there was no decision by the company's board of directors to institute disciplinary action against Dr Syed Omar.

The hearing before High Court judge Justice John Louis O'Hara continues Wednesday.

Dr Syed Omar was cross-examining Ismail; the seconded officer from MAIWP Zarina Hamzah; and the college's senior assistant administrator Selemah Mohd Yusof to determine the veracity of facts in their affidavits.

Dr Syed Omar is seeking damages or compensation, costs and any other relief the court deems fit, including those provided under the Whistleblower Protection Act.

He said he had acted as a whistleblower in disclosing alleged improper conduct in the company to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the police last year, hence should be given protection under the Act.