MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Saravanan: I'm generous, I didn't take RM19 Million

Deputy Youth and Sports Minister M Saravanan said he had placed an allocation of RM19 million in the Youth and Sports Ministry to avoid any claims of misappropriation.
The money, which he had earlier said came from the Prime Minister's Department, was intended for the MIC-linked New Affirmative Action Movement (Naam) Foundation, which he heads as chairperson.
"I'm generous, I didn't take the money, I put it in the Youth and Sports Ministry instead.
"I asked the money to be put in the ministry so that no one can question Naam Foundation.
"If I had taken the money directly, then people can question Naam Foundation," Saravanan told reporters at a chilli fertigation site in Kuala Lumpur today.
He clarified again that the RM19 million had come from the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), which is under the Prime Minister's Department, to help uplift poor Indian youths.
The amount was not only used for the fertigation programmes, but for all training and skills programmes under Naam Foundation, which includes mechatronics, automotive, electrical, wiring, beauty and agriculture programmes.
Saravanan said the money was also put in the Youth and Sports Ministry so that the ministry can monitor Naam Foundation.
Their accounts are audited by the ministry as well as the foundation's internal and external auditors, he added.
Not only that, he said Naam Foundation has also willingly signed an integrity pact with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
Saddened by allegation
The RM19 million allocation, which was for 2014, had helped 3,735 Indian youths, he noted.
Since then, the foundation has not asked for any more funding from the government, he said, adding that the foundation's staff are all paid with their own money and not the government funding.
The programmes from 2014 were pilot projects, he explained, and now that they have trained the 120 youths in chilli farming and provided them with the necessary to start their own farms, the youths can train others for free.
Since the success of the pilot projects, Saravanan said Naam Foundation now mainly monitors the participants' progress.
"We don't need government funding anymore. For example, we train one youth here, and when this place becomes successful, he can train as many as possible without involving money," he explained.
Saravanan said he felt "very sad" when he heard the allegations from DAP Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming yesterday about possible conflict of interest in the disbursement of RM19 million for the chilli planting programme.
In an attempt to be as transparent as possible, Saravanan has extended an invitation to Ong to visit Naam Foundation's office to check their records for himself.
Ong has accepted the invitation and will be visiting their office tomorrow morning. -Mkini

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