KUALA LUMPUR, April 30 — Former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail today responded to the Umno president who questioned how a pledged donation of US$50 million (RM218million) for the Rohingya community here was used.
In response to a Facebook post by Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday, Dr Wan Azizah pointed out that only US$5 million (RM21.7 million) of the money pledged by Qatar had been received during the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration.
This amount was disbursed by the Qatar Charity (QC) directly to the NGOs involved.
“It is important to stress that the money was never given to the government,” wrote the former deputy prime minister.
Dr Wan Azizah explained a one-year agreement expiring on September 12 was made, adding that these pacts are usually extended every year or once every three years, with annual contributions at US$5 million per year, or US$15 million for the three years.
She said the money from the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) was broken down into three sectors: health, education, and livelihood.
Dr Wan Azizah added that Yayasan Kebajikan Negara (YKN), an agency under the women, family, and community development minister, had been tasked with coordinating the aid following a Cabinet decision on April 5, 2019.
She held the portfolio prior to the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.
“Concerning the implementation within the health sector, a project agreement had been sealed on September 13, 2019, between YKN, QC and three other NGOs involved in the sector, namely Mercy Malaysia, (IMARET) and the Malaysia Relief Agency (MRA), together with coordinating agencies, YKN, through the process of due diligence accordingly,” she wrote in a statement today.
“The Cabinet decision also appointed the National Security Council (NSC) as the head of the committee overseeing the programme’s implementation which would report directly to a presidential committee which I chaired until February 23, 2020.
“Cabinet members drafted an administrative structure as such to ensure transparency in implementation and management of the programme which was aligned with the focus of the Pakatan Harapan government to emphasise on accountability, transparency, integrity and efficient governance.”
Dr Wan Azizah chided Zahid for his apparent criticism, saying he could easily have obtained such information by virtue of being in the ruling coalition.
She also suggested that he contact her successor, Women, Family, and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun.
This comes in response to Zahid’s call for Dr Wan Azizah to explain how the funds for the Rohingya community were used after allegations surfaced, claiming that the money was channelled into his private account.
Zahid wrote that an agreement between the Malaysian and Qatari governments was made during the reign of Barisan Nasional, but the donation arrived during Pakatan Harapan’s tenure in Putrajaya.
* Editor’s note: A previous version of this article erroneously said that the Pakatan Harapan government had received US$50 million of donations from the Qatar government for the Rohingya community in Malaysia. Malay Mail apologises for the error and it has since been corrected.