KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 1, 2015:

With some RM400,000 of funds being unaccounted for, a group of former Malaysia Independent Animal Rescue (MIAR) committee members have also put the blame on its president, Puspa Rani, for alleged negligence on “missing” shelter dogs during the Kajang floods on Dec 20, 2014.

MIAR former treasurer Debra Sharmaine Nathan said their reports to the Registrar of Societies (RoS) had led the government body to mull on deregistering MIAR on Dec 18, based on a letter received dated Nov 18, 2014.

“We have evidence that Puspa had misappropriated RM393,300 of the NGO’s funds, which we believe she had used for her personal use since 2012,” Debra alleged.

Debra claimed this was found based on the bank statements issued by the bank and that the NGO’s accounts were not submitted to RoS as per its requirements.

 “Based on the bank statements after the NGO’s account was frozen following our police reports, we discovered that from October 2013 to December 2013 alone she had taken out cash cheques amounting to RM118,500,” she alleged. 

The findings and bank statements were attached to a report lodged to the RoS on May 27, with the group alleging that Puspa had breached several laws in the Societies Act 1966, among them being her failure in filing MIAR’s accounts for two years with RoS as required.

“I do believe the amount of funds misappropriated could be higher and these funds could be used to upgrade the facilities at the shelter or relocate the Kajang shelter, which would have prevented more than 40 dogs going ‘missing’,” Debra claimed to The Rakyat Post.

Puspa had on Dec 20 claimed that 40 dogs had gone missing, with some having drowned following seven-feet-high floods which hit the shelter after a downpour.

Debra added that the group had lodged 10 police reports against Puspa on this, with the treasurer post still vacant a year after her resignation.

“We have evidence in the form of documents revealing withdrawals Puspa had made from the NGO’s bank account.

“She even forged my signature after I had tendered in my resignation in December 2013,” the former treasurer alleged, explaining that the alleged mismanagement of MIAR on Puspa’s part and misappropriation was among the reasons the former volunteer chose to quit the NGO.

In explaining that Puspa had allegedly not been transparent in terms of the funding for the NGO,  MIAR vice-president Shalinee Fernandez demanded that she step down immediately to prevent MIAR’s name being tarnished and allow a protem commitee to be set in place to run the NGO and shelter pending the investigations.

“We’re not against MIAR, but we’re against the unethical approach Puspa had applied to run the three-year-old NGO.” Shalinee claimed.

The group added that a letter of appeal had also been made to RoS, dated Dec 16, 2014, explaining to the government body to not deregister the NGO as only the president was alleged to have misappropriated the funds.

Meanwhile, Puspa rubbished the claims made by the group and said it was done out of jealousy.

“They don’t have proof and they are liars. Ask them to reveal the proof,” she said, when contacted by The Rakyat Post.

The animal rescue activist explained that a Facebook page, “Malaysia Independent Animal Rescue — The Truth” had also been set up to take revenge on her and tarnish her image.

“Rumours will only hurt my dogs and these people are jealous of the work that I have done.”

Puspa said she was set to hold a press conference soon to address this matter.

Meanwhile, Kajang district police chief Asst Commissioner Abdul Rashid Abdul Wahab confirmed receiving police reports and said investigations were ongoing, with Puspa being called in to give her statements in November 2014.

“We can’t reveal much about the matter as investigations are ongoing.” he said when contacted by The Rakyat Post.