MEDIA STATEMENT BY YB SENATOR WAYTHA MOORTHY PONNUSAMY, PRESIDENT MALAYSIAN ADVANCEMENT PARTY & FORMER UNITY MINISTER
I refer to the statement published in FMT titled “Ask Waytha about Mitra’s huge debts” says Halimah”.
The contents of the statement by Minister in charge of Mitra Halimah Saddiq is false, mala fide and intended to damage my reputation as a former Minister in the PH government.
The contents of her false statement as published by FMT are as follows:
The Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (Mitra) has not been receiving its full RM100 million annual allocation for the past two years because it has “debts” to repay, national unity minister Halimah Sadique said today.
She told the Dewan Rakyat that Mitra only had RM65 million for 2020, with RM35 million used to pay off debts from programmes implemented previously, when the agency was under the prime minister’s department.
For this year, she said Mitra only had RM49 million at its disposal with RM51 million used to repay more debts.
“You should ask the previous minister why he spent Mitra’s funds to the point that it eats into the 2020 and 2021 allocations,” Halimah told opposition MPs in her winding-up speech on the 12th Malaysia Plan.
I challenge Minister Halimah to repeat those same allegations outside Parliament if she is convinced of the truth of what she uttered in Parliament. She should not hide behind the curtain of Parliamentary privileges and take a shot at me with false, malicious and wild accusations. I challenge her to do so immediately without any delay.
If she does not do so she should plainly apologize for misleading Parliament and the Malaysian Indians.
When Mitra was under my management RM100 million per year was allocated. However before spending the funds on socio-economic development on the community, I was briefed by the Auditor General’s office of the huge mishandling of funds by the previous Sedic management and the abuse of funds by a former Indian Minister and 2 Deputy Ministers under BN government .
The funds allocated for socio-economic developments under me was short and long term plans benefiting in particular Indian youths, single mothers, high and niche skills job training, creation of high income jobs and creation of modern digital economy platforms for the Gen Z amongst others. Almost 200 programs were carefully selected and a total RM95,743,557.20 was approved as of 16th October 2019.
However to ensure there was transparency accountability and responsibility towards spending of those funds and to ensure no more failed programs as previously happened, a 3 tier payment method was devised.
The final payment would only be made once those programs were completed and obviously a certain amount was parked in the ceiling of RM500 million approved under RMK-11 to be utilised the following year, without the need to reduce the RM100 million approved for 2020.
Therefore Halimah’s allegations are baseless.
Minister Halimah is ignorant and wrong to claim I had placed Mitra in debts. How can a development expenditure for economic upliftment of society be termed debt?
It is investment in the community. She is insulting the Indians by saying expenditure on Indians caused debt to Mitra. I did not “overspend” a single cent. My answers in Parliament is still available for her to access.
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