STAR EXCLUSIVE: PETALING JAYA: The Human Resources Development Fund is to undergo a complete overhaul. A committee has been set up to ensure the fund is rid of weaknesses and misuse of power among senior staff members as well as a promise by its new chairman to personally deal with allegations of graft.
The HRDF will also have the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission seconding one of its officers to the organisation.
Its chairman Datuk Noor Farida Mohd Ariffin said this was so that the MACC could establish the proper rules and regulations in the HRDF governance’s clean-up.
“HRDF has sought and received the support of the MACC in implementing rules, regulations and procedures to prevent any further misuse or abuse of employers’ money.
“MACC has agreed to second one of its officers to HRDF to beef up the unit and to expedite this process,” she said in a statement to The Star yesterday.
Last month, the HRDF set up an ad hoc Compliance and Governance Unit to implement the recommendations made by the Governance Oversight Committee (GOC) for the HRDF and to assist in investigations by various law enforcement agencies, said Noor Farida.
This came about after Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran formed the five-member GOC in June 2018 to review and investigate allegations that RM100mil had been misappropriated under the previous HRDF’s administration.
Key findings and recommendations by the GOC were finalised and published publicly on the HRDF website, said Noor Farida, who was appointed as its chairman on Jan 1 by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Top on the list of GOC recommendations was to stop the segregation of 30% of employers’ human resources development levy towards the Consolidated (Pool) Fund, which was set aside for special projects.
“This was made effective from Nov 1, 2018. No funds have since been allocated or spent on special projects,” she said.
Noor Farida noted that the move was not received well by certain quarters, including training providers, training institutions and trainers, who claimed that their incomes were affected.
The human capital development agency faced heavy public scrutiny following reports of alleged wrongdoings that had taken place under the previous administration.
In November last year, Kulasegaran revealed that high-ranking staff members of HRDF misappropriated about RM100mil out of the RM300mil that was in the fund.
He also highlighted several wrongdoings such as abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and arriving at decisions without reporting to the board of directors.
The Star, in an exclusive report on Jan 9, also highlighted the purchase of a RM154mil property in Bangsar South, also conducted without the approval of the directors and investment panel.
The new HRDF management lodged two police reports. The police have since referred the cases to the MACC.
Meanwhile, it was reported by an online portal that police would be questioning former HRDF chief executive officer Datuk C.M. Vignaesvaran Jeyandran over the “missing” RM100mil.
“On behalf of the HRDF board of directors, I want to reiterate that the board is fully supportive of the actions being taken against the wrongdoers by the HRDF,” said Noor Farida.
She also called for a stop in the circulation of anonymous letters on social media, against the new HRDF management, and urged for them to instead bring their allegations directly to her via email.
She said she would look into these allegations personally and urged those with any complaints or allegations to email her directly at email@example.com by Jan 31 so that she could initiate an independent investigation.
“If any further information is forthcoming from time to time, it will certainly be investigated,” she added.
The findings would also be published over the HRDF website, said Noor Farida.