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Selected Industrial Court Awards
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Award No:297/2014
Company:Amanah Saham Nasional Berhad
Claimant:  Dennis Ak Ujoh 
The employee was the Ketua Pejabat at the Amanah Saham Nasional Berhad Branch in Sibu, Sarawak from June 2004 until his transfer to head the company’s office in Sri Aman in Dec 2005.

On Jan 17, 2006 after attending briefing at the company’s head office in KL, the employee and his former colleague and subordinate in the Sibu office (COW4) boarded a taxi at the PNB Darby Park to go to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

Upon her return to Sibu, COW4 made claims which included reimbursement for taxi fare. It is the company’s case that COW4 paid for the taxi fare which amounted RM90, and she was issued with the receipt by the taxi driver. The company contended that the employee submitted a claim of RM70 to the company despite not having paid the taxi fare to KLIA, which the employee denied.

The company conducted further investigations into this matter and decided to charge the employee before a domestic inquiry on four counts of misconduct:

* Making false claims in respect of the taxi fare from PNB Darby Park to KLIA on Jan 17, 2006.

* Failure to hand over the petty cash in the Sibu office, as well as calculator and a thumb drive, when he went on transfer to Sri Aman on Nov 25, 2005.

* Buying stationeries on credit from a supplier Syarikat Universal of Sibu which constituted an act contrary to the company’s guidelines.

* Failure to report for duty at the company’s office in Sri Aman on Jan 3, 2006.

In the domestic inquiry, the panel found that the employee guilty on the first three charges but not on the fourth charge of failing to report for duty in Sri Aman. Pursuant to the findings, the company dismissed the employee on May 11, 2006.

The court decided on the following:

1.   Whether the misconduct complained of by the employer has been established?

2.   Whether the proven misconduct constitutes just cause or excuse for the worker’s dismissal?
On the issue of submitting a false claim, the court found that the COW4 had been consistent in giving her evidence throughout the domestic inquiry and the trial and that her demeanour was that of a straight and forthright witness.

On the other hand, the same cannot be said of the employee who was alleged to have requested for an extra receipt from the taxi driver when COW4 paid for the fare, but instead asserted that it was COW4 who asked for extra receipt. On inspection of the handwriting on the employee’s receipt, in all probability, the writing thereon may well have been his own.

On his failure to hand over the petty cash, calculator and thumb drive, in the handing-over notes of the employee to COW4 on Nov 25, 2005, there was no mention of the items being handed over on that date. The employee did not dispute this as he had handed over the items to COW4 more than two months later in Feb 2006.

On the issue of breaching company’s guidelines by buying stationaries on credit, the employee admitted to this but argued that it did not breach the guidelines. In appointing supplier of stationery, one of the stipulated conditions was to give provide 30-day credit and that this was based on consensus of the staff and the supplier. The guidelines provided that purchases below RM100 should be paid by petty cash. By adopting this practice, ASNB Sibu ended up, in some circumstances, ‘enjoying’ credit facilities for more than 30 days, which was bad for the company’s image.

Dismissal with just cause or excuse.
misconduct, false claims, transfer, dismissal
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