MIC Youth lodges MACC report after damning AG report on Sedic

The MACC headquarters in Putrajaya May 22, 2018. ― Picture by Azneal Ishak
The MACC headquarters in Putrajaya May 22, 2018. ― Picture by Azneal Ishak

KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 — MIC Youth members led by their chief R. Thinalan, lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today, after the 2018 Auditor-General’s Report found huge financial discrepancies in the Socio-Economic Development of the Indian Community Unit (Sedic) under the previous administration.

The ethnic Indian Barisan Nasional (BN) component party said it lodged the report to prove that it is clean, and is not linked to the matter, “before it is politicised by Pakatan Harapan without basis and facts”.

“The contents of the Auditor-General’s report on Sedic, was also reported by Malay Mail with the headline ‘Audit: Millions meant for Indian community abused under PM’s Dept between 2014-2018’, whereby the article published said that there was a mismanagement of the fund which was channeled by the government for the Indian community, between 2014 and 2018.

“If it’s true that there were elements of money swindling as reported, MIC Youth urges the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to take the necessary legal action on anyone involved,” Thinalan told Malay Mail when contacted.

The Auditor-General (AG) report 2018 Series 1 yesterday said that Sedic, under the BN administration, had been given up to RM203.89 million between 2014 and 2018 to run development programmes to uplift the poor Indian community.

However, it said the millions of ringgit in grants meant for the betterment of the Malaysian Indian community were mismanaged by the special unit under the Prime Minister’s Department.

The report also said that there were no records or database to monitor the spending of the grants and it did not follow criteria in terms of selecting its non-governmental organisation recipients.

“There also appears to be a weakness in administration and conflict of interest in the management of Sedic involving its director-general, a minister and assistant minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

“This is because there is no clear SOP as a guideline for the programme’s implementation,” said the report, referring to standard operating procedures.

Among the discrepancies it found were that 49 unqualified NGOS were recipients of funds in 2017, amounting to RM18.91 million, 20 NGOs files for 23 programmes worth RM10.77 million in 2014 were not filed by Sedic, five NGOs and one skill training institute did not return extra funds worth RM2.86 million, some NGOs did not spend the funds according to scope and many others.

The report also detailed funds being applied for by the then Health Minister, an assistant minister in the PM’s Department and Sedic itself which was described as one-off contributions for NGOS and Indian places of worship amounting to RM38 million between 2016 and March 2018.

In a random survey of participants of five programmes worth RM1.9 million, participants said they were not even aware of the programme.

Sedic was formed in 2014 and was tasked to give out grants and assistance to Indian NGOs to manage programmes in aid of the community.

It has since been revamped as the Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit under the new government, still under the Prime Minister’s Department.