National Unity Minister Halimah must report to police on MITRA issue, says Ganabatirao

SHAH ALAM, Oct 11 – As suggested by Former National Unity Minister, Waytha Moorthy, the current Minister Halimah Sadique must report to the police or the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on her claims that the Malaysia Indian Transformation Unit (MITRA) had only RM65 million out of the annual RM100 million allocated for the social development of the Indian community when Perikatan Nasional took over the government in 2020, says Selangor State Executive Council member Ganabatirao Veraman.

“If what she is saying is the truth, she must report it with facts and evidence supporting her claims,” he said.

During Parliament sitting last week, Halimah informed the Dewan Rakyat that the remaining RM35 million allocated to MITRA was spent on paying off debts incurred in 2019.

Waythamoorthy has since disputed her claims, saying: “I challenge Minister Halimah to repeat those allegations outside Parliament if she is convinced that what she uttered was the truth…I challenge her to do so immediately.”  

On Sunday, Halimah was reported saying that her ministry was ready to cooperate with MACC on the issue.

According to Halimah, for this year, RM50.9 million of MITRA’s allocation was spent to clear off more debts and only RM49.1 million was left for the use of socio-economic programmes for the Indian community.

“For the sake of transparency, the minister must disclose the list of creditors who had been paid off so that the public will know them and are able to assess the programmes that the entities had carried out using the funds of MITRA,” Ganabatirao, who is state assemblyman for Kota Kemuning, said.

“At the same time I would also like to request the Minister of National Unity to publish the list of entities that have received RM49.1 million from MITRA for 2021. The list must be detailed (name of receiver, the amount, type of programme and duration) for the sake of transparency so that people will know the entities that had received funds.”

In 2019, the Pakatan Harapan government had displayed the list of entities that had received funds from MITRA on its website and hence MITRA or the ministry currently under Halimah should be able to do the same for the year of 2021, Ganabatirao said.

On another development, he said he was also surprised by the announcement from Halimah that the ministry through MITRA was working on a development action plan for the Indian community.

“While this is good and commendable, I would like to know who are the representatives involved in the development plan? Are Indians representing in this effort or have Indian members of the public even been invited to participate in the efforts towards developing this plan?”

The mistake of not including Indian representation during the development of the 12th Malaysia Plan cannot be repeated here too, he said.