Mitra funds approval not under Halimah – ministry DG

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Mitra funds approval not under Halimah – ministry DG

The approval of funds from the Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (Mitra) is neither under the discretion of the National Unity Ministry’s director-general nor its minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique since she assumed the post.

In a statement issued by the ministry today, it stated that all Mitra grants were approved by then national unity director-general Magalingam Maniam, who was appointed by her predecessor P. Waytha Moorthy by the Pakatan Harapan administration.

“Magalingam, who served until his contract ended on June 30, had been appointed by Waytha Moorthy.

“After Halimah took over from Waytha Moorthy, the ministry had established two committees that operated under Finance Ministry-approved guidelines for the management of Mitra funds,” the ministry stated, in addressing claims by several quarters that Mitra’s funds had been mishandled.

Both committees, with members composed of ministry officials and chaired by the National Unity Ministry’s secretary-general, the ministry stated, were assigned to assess Mitra grant applications and monitor the implementation of the approved grants.

“Under Halimah’s tenure, the minister and director-general have no authority to consider any Mitra grant applications given the setup of both committees.

“She also instructed for all Mitra officers to be appointed from the civil service, especially from the administrative and diplomatic officers who are able to carry out their duties more systematically, responsibly and can ensure a high level of accountability.”

The ministry added that it was ready to cooperate with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission over the said allegations.

Issues involving Mitra funds became a hot topic after Halimah told the Dewan Rakyat that the Prime Minister’s Department had already spent around half of the RM100 million of the annual allocation for Mitra before it was handed over to her ministry.

In response to opposition MPs, Halimah told them to query Waytha Moorthy over the expenditure of Mitra’s funds, which are split into both this year’s and last year’s allocations.

Following her remarks, Waytha Moorthy challenged Halimah to repeat the claims outside of Parliament.

Waytha Moorthy also had claimed that Mitra, which had been known during the Barisan Nasional administration as the Socio-Economic Development of the Indian Community Unit, was riddled with huge mishandling of funds by those managing it then. TV

Mitra funds approval not under Halimah – ministry DG

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