An investigation has been sought on the funds collected by a Malaysian opposition political party for Sri Lanka’s war victims.
Former auditor of the Democratic Action Party, one of three major opposition parties in Malaysia, Tan Tuan Tat, has said there were discrepancies on the money collected and said to have been distributed to help Sri Lankan Tamils.
The Star online today quoted Tuan Tat as saying that documents on the fund had revealed the discrepancies, adding that these were posted “anonymously” to him.
The documents, he said, showed that DAP had held a donation drive in 2009 to assist Tamils in then war-torn Sri Lanka via British-based organisation Mercy Mission, known as “Mercy Mission To Wanni”.
“The fund committee’s secretary, M. Sateesh Kumar, has stated that RM73,960 was collected, of which RM65,000 had been deposited with the organisation.
“However, DAP deputy secretary-general P. Ramasamy announced in July that RM73,451 was collected with money transferred from the party’s account to Mercy Mission’s Sri Lanka War Victims’ Fund,” he said.
A check, alleged Tan, also revealed that there were three British-based organisations – Mercy Mission UK, Mercy Mission Limited and Mercy Mission International – of which, only the first body was still active.
“A scrutiny by my lawyers revealed that a sum of RM73,481 was deposited from the DAP’s party account into an account number linked to Mercy Mission UK.
“However, what is even more shocking is that there are no records of any sort on Sri Lanka Fund or Mercy Mission to Wanni campaign in the financial report of Mercy Mission UK or that of Mercy Mission Limited, which was active between 2009 and 2011,” he alleged.
These discrepancies, said Tan, were first highlighted in an online news portal last year, prompting British-based Mercy Mission World representative Aizuddin Othman to clarify that it had nothing to do with Mercy Mission UK and that it was formed to assist the Muslim community worldwide.
“DAP has to clear the air over the fund. There are discrepancies which have raised doubts over the exact amount collected and whom it was channelled to,” he told reporters at a press conference here yesterday.
Tan said he had encouraged many Tamil suppporters to contribute to the fund when he was a DAP grassroots leader.
“Although some of them were poor, they still donated what they could towards the fund to help Tamils in Sri Lanka. Now, many of them are questioning me as to where their money went,” he said, adding that they were also shocked to learn of the discrepancies and that their donations had not been channelled to the war victims.
Tan also chided DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng for washing his hands of the matter and leaving it to Ramasamy, who is also Penang deputy chief minister.
“As DAP secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister, Lim owes the public an explanation and should not hide behind his deputy who is being blamed for the fund fiasco,” he said, adding that he would hand the documents over to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).