The controversies surrounding the resignation and then return of People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Treasurer Faaiz Mursalin to the party are expected to be dealt with when the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) meets.
This is according to PNCR Executive Member Ganesh Mahipaul, who is the Opposition’s shadow Local Government Minister in Parliament. In an exclusive interview with this publication, Mahipaul was asked about a phone recording that recently surfaced.
In the recording, Mursalin told both Mahipaul and fellow Opposition Member of Parliament (MP), Roysdale Forde, about his concerns with the PNCR leadership – concerns that have since been made public in a damning letter to the CEC.
According to Mahipaul in his interview with this publication, it is unfortunate that matters have escalated the way they did. He noted that the concerns raised by the Treasurer are internal party matters that should be dealt with within the party.
“The matter is an internal party matter. It is unfortunate that the recording reached the media. I have no idea how it got [out] of the hands of the party. But it remains a matter for the party to deal with. And the party with its Executives will deal with it at the appropriate time, when we meet,” Mahipaul told this publication, adding that a meeting has been set possibly for Wednesday.
In the recording which was leaked on social media, Mursalin made it clear that the party leadership must be changed as soon as possible. He informed the two party members of a number of eyebrow-raising concerns, including that he was called to Congress Place on many occasions and ordered to sign numerous blank cheques, as party Treasurer.
Mursalin said that when he raised concerns about the cheques, he was told to “shut up”. In the recording, both Forde and Mahipaul advised him that he should write a letter to the CEC, detailing his concerns so that they could be addressed. The party Treasurer also requested assistance from his colleagues in writing the letter.
That letter eventually surfaced in the public earlier in January of this year. In the letter, Mursalin accused the party of not doing anything when he brought complaints of being racially attacked by a well-known party member, to the attention of leaders.
The PNCR Treasurer also said that he was forced to sign multiple blank cheques with no supporting documents. The party subsequently denied that there were no supporting documents, though it admitted that Mursalin did sign a number of blank cheques.
“Firstly, from the time I took office as the elected Treasurer of this great party, I was signing blank cheques with no supporting documents. I am always called to sign cheques and whenever I share an opinion of dislike towards this, I am met with hostility. In the month of November, it got worse.”
“I was told by the confidential secretary to the General Secretary that all I am needed for is to sign the cheques and in that month, I signed about 20 blank cheques. I do not know what are the amounts of money written on any of those cheques and I don’t know for what reasons the money, if any were spent on,” Mursalin said in his letter.
Mursalin also detailed other transgressions, such as when he submitted a workplan for the party to attract more finances and made suggestions that a financial audit of Congress Place be done. According to the former executive, PNCR Leader Aubrey Norton did not take any action on either of these matters.
Perhaps most egregious of all, Mursalin, who is of East Indian descent, detailed in the letter that he was subjected to racial abuse by a well-known PNCR member. Mursalin further said that when he made complaints to party leaders, nothing was done. Norton has since claimed that no complaints of racial abuse ever reached him.
Mursalin, who has been affiliated with the PNCR for close to a decade, was elected Treasurer of the party in December of 2021. But in December of last year, he resigned. Last week, Mursalin announced that he has rescinded his resignation and returned to his post of party Treasurer, following a meeting with Norton.
Efforts to contact Forde for a comment on the issue proved futile.