Three ex-Majlis Pusat officers and events organiser charged with conspiracy to cheat

Outside court on Jan 8, 2015, are (from left) Abdul Ghani Tahir, Saharudin Kassim, an assistant lawyer, lawyer Hamidul Haq, and Gazaly Malek. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW 
Outside court on Jan 8, 2015, are (from left) Abdul Ghani Tahir, Saharudin Kassim, an assistant lawyer, lawyer Hamidul Haq, and Gazaly Malek. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW 

SINGAPORE - Three former officials of the Malay-Muslim non-governmental organisation Majlis Pusat were hauled to court on Thursday for conspiracy to cheat statutory boards and a ministry in relation to the Hari Raya light-up and celebrations.

A fourth man, Salleh Sam, 49, who was the appointed vendor for the events in 2011 and 2012 , was also charged.

They face between five and 11 charges each.

Former secretary-general Saharudin Kassim, 52, and former manager Gazaly Malek, 59, are said to have conspired with Abdul Ghani Tahir, 50, and Salleh to cheat the Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore Totalisator Board, National Population and Talent Division and the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports by inflating the expenses of Majlis Pusat.

They handed in inflated expenses ranging from $130,768 to $351,242.

Abdul Ghani was allegedly involved in connection with the 2011 light-up.

Saharudin, Gazaly and Abdul Ghani were also accused of scheming to falsify the income and expenditure statement of the 2011 Hari Raya light-up and celebrations of Majlis Pusat by $349,570.

While Saharudin was president of Majlis Pusat in 2012, he allegedly schemed with Gazaly to falsify the income and expenditure statement of the 2012 event by knowingly inflating the expenses by $130,768.

Salleh, an undischarged bankrupt, was accused of taking part in the management of MCC Events & Production and 7M Natural Sources between July and August 2012 without leave or permission. He also allegedly took part in managing MCC Makan Place during the period.

The four men, who are represented, had their $40,000 bail each extended. Their passports have been impounded.

A pre-trial conference is set for Feb 26.

If convicted, they could be jailed for up to 10 years and fined on each cheating charge, and up to 10 years and/or fined for falsifying accounts.

elena@sph.com.sg