Business chamber to Waytha: Come clean on MITRA’s spending

Business chamber to Waytha: Come clean on MITRA’s spending

PUCHONG: A business chamber today questioned on how much funds allocated for the Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (MITRA) is really being spent to uplift the Indian community.

In a letter to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P Waytha Moorthy, Minority Business Chamber chairman S Gobi Krishnan said that by the minister’s own admission at the Parliament recently, MITRA has approved an allocation of RM20.336 million for 38 programmes.

“This means one programme will receive an allocation worth RM535,000. The question is, how many organisations received this funding. Does this involve 30 organisations?

“If yes, then list out the names of the organisations and how much they have received in detail. All this information should be made available on MITRA’s website but it’s not there.

“Even the minister himself did not provide the details in the Parliament. What is your excuse for this?” asked Gobi.

The business leader also bemoaned that MITRA was putting too much emphasis on educational and skills training programmes, which he claims was the same thing its precursor, SEDIC was doing during the previous administration.

“One of SEDIC’s failure in the past was that too much allocation and focus was given to educational and skills training programmes.

“What about investing in capacity building in terms of business and entrepreneurial development? What is MITRA’s short term and long term plan in developing business and entrepreneurial skills among the Indian community?” asked Gobi.

He also alleged that MITRA has been allocating funds to educational and skills training institutions which are not recognised by the government.

“We received information that MITRA has been channelling funds to institutions not registered with the Education Ministry and Human Resources Ministry.

“We also got to know that funds were given for programmes which are not accredited by Skills Development Department and the Malaysia Qualification Agency.

“If this is true, then the minister must be answerable for all this,” said Gobi.

He then urged the Pakatan Harapan government to learn from the mistakes made from the previous administration, warning that the government would face the wrath of the Indian community if MITRA fails to deliver.

“We hope Waytha Moorthy understands that as supporters of the new government, we don’t want Pakatan’s aspiration to help the Indian community to fail.

“Any failure on MITRA’s part will dent Pakatan’s image, which stands firm on principles of transparency and justice,” said Gobi.

By G Vinod