The HRDF, an agency under the Human Resources Ministry, manages training funds for human resource development.
Published on Jun 12, 2018
13 June 2018
Massive stealing from a government fund, the HRDF
COMMENT | They were interesting events indeed. In span of a couple of hours, there was suspense, drama and indecision as the events involving a multi-billion ringgit government agency unfolded.
First, there was the hijacking of a media conference with highly-paid bogus reporters asking irrelevant questions. This was followed by two-high profile directors quitting the board. Then came the news: each of the high-flying directors and its chief executive officer (CEO) taking home about RM1 million in salary and bonuses last year.
The Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) is one of the many government agencies making the news. The revelation that former Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai paid about RM800,000 to Pemandu Associates to ghost-write his column in The Star pales in comparison to HRDF, which has more than RM1 billion in its coffers and collects about RM700 million annually.
News has emerged that some of the directors approved all-expense paid trips to New York, Frankfurt and London on Business Class for themselves. One would have thought these lawatan sambil belajar was restricted to local councils. This is a case of grown up, gainfully-employed men and women travelling on money which belongs to the people.
According to its 2017 statement of accounts, the CEO, CM Vigneswaran, was paid RM996,638 in salary and bonus and HRDF paid RM167,268 as employer’s contribution to his Employees Provident Fund (EPF).
According to industry sources, he and two other senior managers were paid six months’ salary each as “performance bonus.” The records also show that Vigneswaran’s (photo) emoluments were more than 55 percent more than the previous year’s.
“Some of the directors were well taken care of. They were given trips and generous allowances, besides their monthly salaries,” the sources said.
According to the accounts, directors’ fees amounted to RM870,667. There are 17 other directors besides the CEO and they include representatives from government departments and agencies. Working on an average, each director received RM51,200.
“They were each paid RM4,000 monthly and a meeting allowance of RM2,000. Some of them did not attend board meetings regularly but got substantial allowances when meetings were held in Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Penang,” said the sources.
Vigneswaran did not reply to any of the messages left on his phone.
For the rest of the article:
12 June 2018
Evidence of RM300m misappropriated from HRDF submitted to MACC
Evidence linked to the misappropriation of the RM300 million fund belonging to Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) was submitted to the MACC today.
SG Education Group CEO Sri Ganes said he submitted the evidence to facilitate investigation by MACC on the matter.
Investigation has to be conducted to identify the parties involved, although a senior management member and a director of the fund resigned recently, he told the media after submitting the evidence at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya today.
Meanwhile, a former HRDF board member, R Thiagaraja, who was present at the media conference, denied involvement in the misappropriation of the funds and welcomed MACC to investigate the matter.
8 June 2018
GE14, Riot and the HREF’s car
At the town hall meeting of the Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF), I raised the question of the agency’s chief executive officer and its directors campaigning for former Human Resources Minister Richard Riot (photo above) in Serian in Sarawak.
“We did not use HRDF money for the campaigning,” thundered CM Vigneswaran, HRDF’s CEO.
What about the car?
“The (former) minister wanted to buy it and we sent it over. When the BN government lost, we brought it back,” he said.
Do you buy this explanation? After having used the car during the campaign period for two weeks, is it acceptable that the potential buyer offered to return the car?
Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran…and the ministry’s secretary-general Dr Mohd Gazali Abas could only look at each other in disgust and anger, and perhaps astonished by the reply given.
Did the 500-odd stakeholders who attended the meeting buy Vigneswaran’s answer? The rejection was overwhelming and the voices from the crowd reflected their outrage.
The provision of the car may have been a small gesture by HRDF and its top brass to curry favour with the (former) minister on expectations that he would return to his former post.
Herein lays the Malaysian malaise where civil servants, being implementers of government policies, end up as “bag carriers” and being subservient to their political masters.
However, this endeavour to be in the good books of the minister backfired and HRDF footed the bill for transporting the car to and from Serian. Some answers were expected to be forthcoming but there were none.
This episode reflects how deeply government resources were used in the last election. It is also a reflection of how blatantly it was done without a care in the world. Rules were being broken – audaciously.
It is also a replication of the “do and be damned” attitude which has been prevalent in the civil service. Such brazen acts were hallmarks of the “little Napoleons” among some civil servants and heads of government agencies. They were “kingmakers” – feared no one and were untouchable.