A former employee of Malay-Muslim non-profit organisation Majlis Pusat Singapura (MPS) pleaded guilty on Wednesday (May 4) to three counts of cheating three statutory boards to the tune of S$188,055.
Gazaly Malek, a 60-year-old Canadian who managed MPS, admitted to falsely inflating the organisation’s expenses and falsifying documents to deceive statutory boards into granting them more funding. The statutory boards collectively disbursed S$188,055 more than they would have.
MPS, which is in charge of organising the annual Hari Raya light-up, had sought funding from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), National Population and Talent Division (NPTD) and Tote Board to fund celebrations marking the end of Ramadan in 2011 and 2012.
He is one of the four charged with conspiracy to cheat governmental agencies in relation to the event. His co-accused include his ex-colleagues - Saharudin Kassim, the former secretary-general of MPS, and Abdul Ghani Tahir, MPS' former finance secretary and Sam Salleh, the appointed vendor for the events in 2011 and 2012.
Prosecutors said Malek, was part of the “meticulously planned deception”, and did not act alone but was not the "most culpable member” of the quartet.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Gordon Oh urged the court to impose a jail term of between six to eight months on Malek, who will have another seven counts - five for cheating and two for falsification of accounts - taken into consideration during his sentencing.
The other three are denying the charges against them. The trio’s trial is expected to begin on Thursday.
The punishment for cheating is up to three years in jail and/or a fine.
Gazaly's sentencing is expected to take place on May 9.