Headmaster Claims RM109,000 Cash Was Stolen From His Car When He Went To Get A Drink
The Ministry of Education has strict SOP for withdrawing any amount over RM10,000, which states that there must be a police escort present. However, the headmaster was alone when he went to withdraw the cash meant for the students.
At around 12.17pm on Monday, 16 January, someone allegedly broke into a school headmaster's car in Semenyih and stole RM109,000 in cash
According to Kajang police chief ACP Mohd Zaid Hassan, the headmaster had withdrawn the money — which was financial aid for the school — from a bank in Kampung Baru Semenyih at about 10am.
"[He] placed the cash inside a bag. The bag was kept on the front passenger seat," Mohd Zaid said, adding that the headmaster then left his car to go get himself a drink at a nearby restaurant.
The primary school headmaster claimed that when he returned to his car, the window of the rear passenger seat on the right side was broken, and the bag containing the cash was missing.
The case is being investigated for theft under Section 379 of the Penal Code.
The headmaster, however, breached standard operating procedures (SOP) by withdrawing the amount without the presence of an escort
Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek said that, as per the ministry's SOP, a police escort is a must when withdrawing any amount over RM10,000 and that the ministry will not compromise on the matter.
"It involves the loss of a large amount and there was a breach in the SOP with regard to finances [...] So we are waiting for a report from the police and Selangor State Education Department (JPN)," she said.
Regarding any action to be taken against the headmaster over negligence or carelessness, Fadhlina said that she will leave the matter to the JPN and the police to assure that the case is being thoroughly investigated.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will reimburse the money to the school through the relevant process, as it was the right of the school students, Bernama reported the minister as saying.
Meanwhile, Mohd Zaid expressed his disappointment with the 50-year-old headmaster for not requesting a police escort for the withdrawal
He said that based on a statement by the headmaster, it was normal for him to make such huge transactions without a police escort and that he had been doing so for 10 years, reported Bernama.
"It is regrettable that he did not request it because the school could have asked the police to help for such a purpose," Mohd Zaid said during a press conference yesterday, 17 January.
"We recommend that schools always get the police to escort them from the bank to a safe place," he said, adding that the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) has long provided security escort services to more than 100 schools around Kajang whenever they needed to withdraw cash from the bank.
While the case is being investigated under Section 379, the police are also not ruling out negligence or the involvement of "insiders"
According to Mohd Zaid, at the moment, the police are re-examining the closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage to identify the individuals who entered and left the bank during the time of the incident.
"We will investigate from all angles, there is a possibility of insider involvement and negligence. We have already recorded the headmaster's statement and there will be others who will be called in," he said.