MonSpace founder had said investors could get back their principal if they were concerned about their investments. Coming all the way from China, that’s what they want. So MonSpace just needs to walk the talk.
- “Victims” alleged cheated of life savings
- Claims of losses between RM6,260 and RM62,600
- 71 Chinese nationals protested outside Bank Negara
- Sought help from Chinese embassy
- Almost stormed MonSpace office to look for Dato’ Sri Jessy Lai
After last month’s batch of 19 Chinese nationals who lodged police reports, alleging losses in a MonSpace investment scheme, a much larger group of 71 people arrived and did the same with similar allegations.
The group went to the MonSpace office in Bukit Jalil, demanding to meet founder Dato’ Sri Jessy Lai and get their refunds.
Accompanying the group were Selangor DAP committee member Ronnie Liu and lawyer Shahrul Nizam Azwir who confronted a MonSpace representative on the matter.
The representative told the investors to write down their particulars such as their names and details of their investment accounts if they wished to withdraw money from MonSpace.
This irked the investors, hailing from different provinces in China, who had come all the way to Malaysia in their attempt to meet Lai, which proved to be futile.
They tried to storm into the MonSpace office, believing Lai was inside. However, they were stopped by Liu, who advised them it was better to lodge police reports and demand investigations.
“We want the government to take action against Lai and her company as we do not wish to see more people fall victim to this investment scheme,” Liu said.
Liu also said he and Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng would take the victims to file their complaints on MonSpace’s alleged scam to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the domestic trade, cooperatives and consumerism ministry (KPDNKK).
On Jun 15, the group lodged their reports at the Bukit Jalil Police station, alleging that they had been cheated of their life savings,
The Chinese claimed they were “victims” of an alleged Ponzi scheme operated by MonSpace and sought refunds of the money they had invested.
They said they had invested 10,000-100,000 renminbi (RM6,260-RM62,600) in MonSpace.
In the police reports, they claimed that they did not receive the 500% returns promised by Lai within a six-month period. They had invested in MonSpace from November last year.
On Jun 16, the group picketed outside Bank Negara, claiming to have collectively lost millions as a result of investing in the company’s schemes. DAP’s Lim and Liu were also present.
The group submitted to Bank Negara 65 police reports lodged a day earlier.
Lim urged the central bank to launch an investigation into MonSpace over its investment activities.
“I want Bank Negara to show their commitment to Malaysia and the world, and not to make Malaysia a safe haven for masterminds of Ponzi schemes,” he said.
Lim claimed that the police refused to take action for now, on grounds that the money transactions did not take place in Malaysia but were done in China.
However, Lim pointed out that many MonSpace activities such as presentations, conferences, awarding of certificates and the launching of MonSpace Airline were conducted in Malaysia.
Two hours later, the group went to the Chinese embassy, hoping to get support for the investigation.
However, they were asked to go to the embassy’s consular office in another location where they were told they would be attended to by officials.
Upon arriving there, only two representatives were permitted to enter the premises while the others were told off by the guard.
Liu, who also met the officials, claimed that the consulate will look into the matter, although no firm promises were given to the group.
“If nothing is being done, and there is no progress and all that, I don’t rule out the possibility that the victims together with us will forward this matter to China’s president Xi Jinping when he visits Malaysia,” he said.
In an immediate response, the MonSpace claimed the group’s protest at Bank Negara was staged with political intent.
The Star reported that the company claimed the protestors were secured by DAP to advance its own political agenda.
“Our investigations show that the ‘protesting investors’ were not able to prove that they are MonSpace members.
“The presence of DAP politicians clearly showed that it was driven to illegally cause destruction of MonSpace,” the company said in a statement.
It said it had sought legal counsel and will file a police report against the protestors for tarnishing the company’s image.
It added that it would take legal action against any individual or group making defamatory statements against the company.
“MonSpace’s lawyer, Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah of Shafee & Co, has also taken legal action against two DAP leaders for organising a similar protest outside the MonSpace office,” said the company.
In the recent spate of investment schemes going bust, the spotlight shone on the company last month when FMT reported that several DAP lawmakers alleged that MonSpace investments were worse than the infamous JJPTR money game.
DAP Kg Tunku assemblyman Lau Weng San claimed that MonSpace has bigger influence due to the alleged “involvement of several key figures”.
On May 22, a group of 19 Chinese nationals lodged reports at the Dang Wangi police station, claiming they were misled into placing their money in MonSpace’s investment scheme.
MonSpace immediately responded with the warning of taking legal action against any group or individual making defamatory statements against it.
The next day, Lim and Liu took the group of 19 to MonSpace’s office to demand refunds for the investors.
Apparently anticipating the confrontation, about 50 fervent MonSpace supporters were on hand to heckle the DAP representatives.
During the heated exchange, Lai refuted claims of cheating the Chinese investors. She said MonSpace was not an investment but e-commerce company.
She also said that former IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan had no direct links with MonSpace (M) Sdn Bhd but was only the president of MonSpace Net Inc.
MySinchew reported that Lai said investors could claim back their principal at the MonSpace head office if they were concerned about their investments.
A day after the fracas involving Lai, lawyers for MonSpace issued a letter of demand to Lim who was given seven days to retract and apologise for statements he allegedly made about Lai and Musa, or face legal action.
Lim was said to have insinuated that Lai and Musa have been operating an illegal business, that MonSpace was “blacklisted by the authorities”, and that MonSpace, Lai and Musa were “dishonest, ruthless, and not a credible company or individuals”.
Lim also allegedly alluded to the company and Musa having bribed various government officers to keep MonSpace “protected”.
The statements were purportedly made in Mandarin and published in the GuangMing Daily newspaper website.
There have been no reports of a retraction or apology from Lim thus far.
According to FMT, MonSpace management representative Decker Yap said if investors have a problem they should bring it to the company.
“Of course, we did not allow so many people in as they were acting like gangsters,” he said, in response to the 71 people wanting to storm MonSpace’s office on Jun 15.
One can understand why investors who feel they have been cheated may act aggressively, but the footage shows they were hardly behaving like “gangsters” as claimed. Perhaps a tad loud, which most will agree is typical of the mainland Chinese – but certainly not intimidating.
Flashback to the riotous scene of booing and jeering that greeted the first group of 19 Chinese nationals and DAP representatives, one wonders the necessity for such a commotion from uninvolved MonSpace supporters.
The company’s threats to sue those who make “defamatory statements” and its allegations that DAP has a political agenda do not concern unhappy investors.
They only want their money back, so MonSpace just needs to walk the talk and refund the investors.
In any case, IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said police will investigate MonSpace now that reports have been lodged against it.
“The police and Bank Negara are in the midst of collecting evidence for further action,” he said.
Khalid also reminded Malaysians not to invest in any scheme that promised returns of more than 16% annually.
“People should be wary of such schemes. It is not possible to make so much profit,” he said.