Kulasegaran: Where are the remaining Mitra funds?

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DAP lawmaker M Kulasegaran today called on the government to explain what happened to the funds allocated to the Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (Mitra) in the 2022 Budget.

In his speech at the committee level of the 2023 Budget debate, the Ipoh Barat member of parliament said only RM60 million of the RM100 million allocation was used for anti-poverty and social development programmes for the Indian community.

“The total amount was RM100 million and only RM60 million was utilised, this means that RM40 million was not utilised.

“The money is allocated for the poor and it needs to be fully utilised for them. Hence, will the government distribute the remaining funds from last year to be used this year? What is the reason that the funds were not used then?” he said in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Kulasegaran also asked the government what efforts were being undertaken to investigate those who had abused the funds.

Previously, the former human resource minister had questioned the next step for Mitra by the government.

He said one of Pakatan Harapan’s pledges for the 15th General Election was to carry out forensic audits on Mitra as well as MIC’ arms, such as Maika Holdings Bhd and Maju Institute of Educational Development (MIED) for the misappropriation of government funds meant for the Indian community.

PH had also promised to establish a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to investigate the three organisations.

In 2021, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigated Mitra over allegations of misappropriation of funds from 2019 to 2021.

Datuk Seri Ismail Yaakob had announced last year — when he was prime minister — that the government would place Mitra under the Prime Minister’s Department. – NST