MELAKA: Dozens of exotic trees surrounding the Melaka Scout Camp at Pengkalan Badak in Jasin here have gone "missing", says Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin (pic).
The Deputy Primary Industries Minister said this following Wednesday's (April 3) allegations over misappropriation of funds made by several key members of the Melaka Scout Council.
“The ongoing leadership crisis in the association has led to priceless timber species such as Meranti and Jati to be illegally felled at the campsite that was opened in 1994,” he said when interviewed here Thursday (April 5).
Shamsul, who claims to be the duly elected Melaka Scout Council chairman, said trees at the 6.4ha campsite were supposed to be preserved as it was meant for recreational and training purposes of the country's scout movement.
He said infighting within the council worsened when the election results of new committee members through an Annual General Meeting (AGM) in November 2018 were nullified by certain members of the association.
This also disqualified him as the chairman.
“The council’s federal leadership claims the AGM was not conducted according to the procedures of the movement and I want the National Scout chief Tan Sri Dr Shafie Mohd Salleh to quickly resolve the fiasco in Melaka.
“Dr Shafie must come forward to provide answers as the current members were constitutionally elected, hence the dissidents have no locus standi to invalidate the election of office-bearers,” he said.
Shamsul said the dispute within the committee has led to the illegal felling of trees as well as other problems plaguing the campsite, including vandalism.
He said a discussion will be also held with state Agriculture, Agro-based, Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative Committee chairman Norhizam Hassan Baktee after the latter claimed to be the rightful chairman for the council’s pro-tem committee.
“Norhizam should understand that a pro-tem committee cannot be formed when we had a proper AGM," he said.
On Wednesday (April 3), Norhizam claimed the disqualified committee members had failed to report its financial statements.
He had given the 2015-2018 office-bearers a week to provide the financial statements.
"Reports to relevant agencies, including the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, would be lodged if they fail to do so," he said.
Norhizam claimed that the former treasurer has failed to provide the statements since 2012.
He said the association had RM400,000 in a fixed deposit account when a review was made recently and another RM91,780 in a savings account.
"Checks showed that both the accounts had less than RM2,000 now," he said when contacted Thursday.
Norhizam said the association generates a revenue of between RM9,000 and RM11,000 a month through rental charges of its assets in Melaka.
He also revealed that the scout camp has also been closed since 2015 due to mismanagement.
Meanwhile, Melaka Chief Scout Commissioner Abdul Hamid Mustapa said the campsite is now in deplorable condition and even the kitchen equipment has gone missing.