Cancellation of transportation for cabin crew: MASEU President and Sec-Gen have a lot to explain to its members

Media Statement
Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew

(Kuala Lumpur, Friday): MASEU President Alias Aziz and Secretary General Abdul Malek Ariff have not cleared their names over the RM 1,000,000 investment blunder last year (UNION FUNDS 'INVESTED' IN DUD COMPANY? Malay Mail 23 February 2004).

They now also have to explain why they have signed away the transportation service provided for all cabin crews without the consent of the union's exco.

A source claims that the transportation service has been in place since 1971. Cancellation of this service could be proven counter-productive for the national carrier. This is a penny wise, pound foolish act on the part of the management.

According to the Malay Mail report, the Malaysian Airlines Employees Union (Maseu) may have invested RM1 million in a non-existent company. A police report was lodged against Maseu early 2004 after its external auditors, Ahmad Abdullah and Goh, revealed that as at March 31, 2003, RM1 million from the total of RM1, 353,249.98 in the union's fixed deposit accounts could not be accounted for.

It was learnt that the Department of Trade Unions has evidence to show that some union officials could have invested the money in a non-existent company. The department has also established that no approval had been given by the Human Resources Ministry for the union to invest the money.

It is also believed that the union's exco rejected a proposal to invest in the company way back in August 2002, which means that some union officials could have taken the money out without the exco's approval.

At one meeting, Maseu secretary-general Abdul Malek Ariff was said to have reported to the exco that Concentric Sdn Bhd, a Bumiputera company involved in properties and construction, had offered the union some investment opportunities. Abdul Malek was said to have told the exco that Concentric had won a project from Danaharta to renovate a building into a service apartment.

When contacted by Malay Mail later, Abdul Malek said he was not aware of the status of the company. He did say, however, that RM200,000 of the RM1 million investment had been returned to the union and that "they" had promised to return the remaining RM800,000.When pressed, Abdul Malek said "they" had made the promise to the Director-General of Trade Unions.

The police have yet to come out with a report on its investigation until today.



* Liu Tian Khiew, DAP International Secretary and NGO bureau chief