Under BN, was The Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) another way of looting the nation’s coffers?

The HRDF, an agency under the Human Resources Ministry, manages training funds for human resource development.

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9 April 2019

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PETALING JAYA: The ongoing clean-up of the abused Human Resources Development Fund revealed that a top executive and three deputies at the fund were lavished with salary increments and bonuses leading up to the last general election.

The four high-ranking officers had allegedly taken their share of a million ringgit “jackpot” at least two months prior to the general election last year.

The executive’s individual bonus of RM616,000 for 2017 was more than triple the bonus received in 2016, which was RM191,000.

To put into perspective, the executive’s 2015 individual bonus package was RM60,000 and only RM17,000 the year before.

The 2017 bonus of RM616,000 translated to a growth of a whopping 3,524% in just three years.

The RM616,000 bonus was part of a package where the four pocketed RM1.25mil in individual performance bonuses for the year 2017.
The three deputies each received RM211,000, and these were on top of the corporate bonuses they received. The issue has been the exponential growth of the bonuses given out although employees of HRDF are entitled to bonuses declared and paid by the fund.
Apart from individual bonuses, employees also received a corporate bonus.
In 2017, the normal staff members of HRDF were only eligible to receive up to 5.75 months of bonus which comprised 1.75 months of corporate bonus and up to four months of individual bonus.
The executive and a deputy have left HRDF while the two remaining deputies are still with the fund. One of them was redesignated but still remains in the upper echelon.
Meanwhile, the executive also received a salary revision twice in 2017, from RM32,000 a month to RM47,000 a month in March and subsequently to RM56,000 a month just four months later.
This translated to a 75% increase in salary within a year.
This was following a “recommendation” by a consultancy firm that was engaged in November 2016 to review the executive’s salary, which was only slightly a year after the previous revision.
This is not the first instance where the board of directors was bypassed in decision-making.
While remunerations and bonuses were usually determined by HRDF’s establishment and benefits committee (EBC) and subject to the board of directors’ approval, the hefty bonus paid was allegedly approved by the Human Resources Minister.
Documents sighted by The Star revealed that Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem, who was the minister that time, gave the approval for the performance bonus on Feb 28 last year.
This was also approved by Riot and the EBC was not informed about it.
Under the HRDF Act, a minister may only give directives to the board, and not to bypass the board to give approvals.

THE STAR

https://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/?p=161930

2 April 2019

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PETALING JAYA: Graft busters have seized documents from the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) in its probe on fraudulent training claims to the tune of millions of ringgit.

It is learnt that some of the documents were also related to a four-year allocation totalling RM150mil made in 2016 for data analytics training.

The approval of the allocation was allegedly made without the knowledge of the board of directors.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) also seized documents of fictitious claims by certain training provi­ders for training purportedly held in se­­ve­ral parts of the country.

“We have recorded statements from several people and investigations are ongoing,” sources said.

In January, the Bukit Aman Commercial Crimes Investigation Department (CCID) also raided HRDF and seized documents as it dug deeper into allegations of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of funds in HRDF.

In November last year, Human Resources Minister M. Kula­sega­ran (pic) said staff and management personnel were running HRDF “as if it was their own company” and that the management had in some instances exceeded autho­rity and approved projects be­­yond its approval limits.

The Star in January highlighted the purchase of a RM154mil pro­perty in Bangsar South which was done without the approval of the board of directors and investment panel.

Approval was given for ano­ther property in the same area but HRDF went on to make payments for the Bangsar South pro­perty with some RM40mil alle­gedly paid before the tax invoice date.

The investment panel was only informed of the switch of property purchased five months after the first tranche of RM15.4mil was paid.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/04/03/graft-busters-seize-more-documents-from-hrdf-office/#7QAicB6MUHS03ShR.99

11 January 2019

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 — Bukit Aman Commercial Crimes Investigation Department (CCID) acting director Datuk Saiful Azly Kamaruddin said police today raided the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) over allegations of misappropriations of funds.

He said commercial crimes investigators from the Brickfields police headquarters had gone to the HRDF main office in Damansara Heights to conduct investigations related to an ongoing probe on misappropriation of funds, fraud and other malpractices.

“Investigators from Brickfields CCID had been sent to HRDF following instructions from the Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department.

“Investigations are mainly related to misappropriation of funds,” he told Malay Mail when contacted.

On Wednesday, The Star reported that HRDF allegedly bought property in Bangsar South here without its board or investment panel’s knowledge in a 2015 purchase involving hundreds of millions of ringgit.

https://www.malaymail.com/s/1711553/ccid-chief-confirms-raid-at-hrdf-says-over-misappropriation-of-funds?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=twitter

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PETALING JAYA: Police are currently questioning Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) staff over alleged misappropriation of funds, fraud and other malpractices that took place under the Barisan Nasional administration.

HRDF CEO Elanjelian Venugopal said an appointment with the police had been fixed at 11am today.

“The police are still questioning us and looking through the documents and reports of the misappropriation of funds under the BN government,” he told FMT.

He said the police visit to their office at Damansara Heights is a “follow-up” to the report he filed against the previous administration last year.

“We are giving our full cooperation. We are hoping the investigations will be over as soon as possible.”

Venugopal said the Governance Oversight Committee, appointed by the Pakatan Harapan government, had recorded various shortfalls in the government-linked agency.

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2019/01/11/cops-question-hrdf-staff-over-alleged-misappropriation-of-funds/

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PETALING JAYA – A team of police officers are currently conducting a raid at the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) main office in Damansara Heights.

It is believed that this is related to the ongoing probe on the misappropriation of funds, fraud and other malpractices there.

Sources said several HRDF staff members have been questioned and the investigating officers were still combing through documents to be seized at the time of writing on Friday afternoon (Jan 11).

In November, Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said high-ranking staff of HRDF misappropriated around RM100mil of the RM300mil in the fund.

Kulasegaran also set up a five-member independent governance oversight committee (GOC) to review and probe the allegations.

The Star, in an exclusive report on Wednesday (Jan 9), also highlighted the purchase of a RM154mil property in Bangsar South, which was done without the approval of the board of directors and investment panel.

Approval was given for another property in the same area but HRDF went on to make payments for the Bangsar South property with some RM40mil allegedly paid before the tax invoice date.

The investment panel was only informed of the switch in property purchased five months after the first tranche of RM15.4mil was paid.

The HRDF management lodged two police reports on the property purchase, and police have since referred the case to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

– ANN

https://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/?p=151816

June 2018

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Published on Jun 12, 2018

Sidang media mengenai salah guna kuasa melibatkan ahli lembaga pengarah Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad (HRDF) di Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) hari ini bertukar kecoh apabila individu yang didakwa muncul secara tiba-tiba dan mencelah. Salah seorang pembayar levi dan penyedia latihan HRDF Datuk Seri P Ganes pada awalnya membuat laporan kepada SPRM kerana percaya wujudnya salah guna kuasa melibatkan pertubuhan itu.

13 June 2018

Massive stealing from a government fund, the HRDF

R Nadeswaran  |  Published on  |  Modified on

 

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.

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“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:

https://www.malaysiakini.com/columns/429588#.WyCEAaAsYAE.twitter

12 June 2018

Evidence of RM300m misappropriated from HRDF submitted to MACC

Bernama  |  Published on  |  Modified on

 

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.

– Bernama

https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/429541

8 June 2018

GE14, Riot and the HREF’s car

R Nadeswaran  |  Published on  |  Modified on

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COMMENT

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.

https://www.malaysiakini.com/columns/428845

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1 Response to Under BN, was The Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) another way of looting the nation’s coffers?

  1. Doris Looi says:

    Same,mo,fgv,onemdb,etc

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