DAP Rep Asks Saravanan if HRDF Scandals Being Buried

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An opposition lawmaker has urged Human Resources Minister M Saravanan to continue cleaning up the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF).

In a statement today, DAP Bagan Dalam assemblyperson Satees Muniandy questioned the recent removal of several of the fund’s top executives, including chairperson Noor Farida Ariffin.

“I don’t understand why the need to remove Farida that hastily.

Yusof Mat Isa

“If the Perikatan Nasional government is committed to reforms that were introduced by the former government, why are people like Farida being replaced?

“Apparently, it is not just the chairperson of HRDF but some top executives, who (had) initiated an internal investigation within the fund, are also being removed […] why is there a need for the rushed removal of these people?” he asked.

Satees stressed that Farida a retired diplomat, had not been a political appointee.

Farida was quoted in The Malay Mail yesterday as saying that her contract and that of HRDF CEO Elanjellian Venugopal plus four other board members had been prematurely terminated.

HRDF’s new chairperson is Nelson Renganathan, the chairperson of an international school as well as several other businesses.

Under Pakatan Harapan, Satees noted how the ministry’s Governance Oversight Committee had uncovered irregularities on the way HRDF had been run by the BN administration.

The police later raided the fund’s Kuala Lumpur headquarters while the MACC launched a probe into former CEO CM Vignaesvaran. No arrests or charges were made.

Satees questioned if Faridah’s removal pointed to attempts to “bury” these scandals and hoped Saravanan would not allow such attempts.

“Are these all signs of HRDF scandals being buried? Are those who misappropriated hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ money being let off scot-free?

“I don’t accuse the new minister of anything but I am just cautioning about the possibility that he is being misled by people with vested interests […] I hope the new minister will have the courage to stand up (against these people) and not fall into the trap of those who have messed the HRDF in the past.

“If he chooses not to continue the Harapan government’s effort to correct HRDF’s past mistakes, this will be his legacy – letting those who stole millions of taxpayers’ money off scot-free,” he remarked. – Malaysiakini