• Outcome of my meeting with Chairman of Yayasan NAAM, Datuk M.Saravanan

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 31st of March 2016

    Outcome of my meeting with Chairman of Yayasan NAAM, Datuk M.Saravanan

    I would like to thank Datuk M.Saravanan, Chairman of NAAM, for inviting me to the office of NAAM this morning and for giving me a thorough explanation of the activities and programs undertaken by NAAM. Based on our meeting, I take note of the following explanations given:

    1) That the RM19m grant given to NAAM was via the Economic Planning Unit under the development expenditure of the budget from the Prime Minister’s Department. RM15m was spent in 2014 and RM4 million was spent in 2015. No additional funds have been allocated to NAAM in 2015 despite the initial announcement that a total of RM37 would be allocated to NAAM.

    2) That none of the members of the board of trustees of NAAM, nor its coordinators (“pelaksana”) at the state levels receive any compensation or salary from NAAM. That the rental of NAAM’s office and salaries of clerical staff do not come from NAAM’s allocation from the EPU.

    3) That NAAM is a training service provider that does not provide any loans to those which it has trained. That NAAM has spent approximately RM9.6m out of its RM19 allocation in training services provided by 3 companies (including cost of materials) to 1330 people in order to equip them to start their own chili farms.

    4) That EPU provided guidelines to NAAM on the type of programs and activities which it can carry out and the proposed budget for each type of program and activity

    5) That the Ministry of Youth and Sports has done an internal audit for NAAM.

    While it is commended that the chairman of NAAM was willing to explain the details behind its programs and activities, there are still some areas of ongoing concern including:

    1) Success rate of those trained to start their own chili farms is still very low

    For example, 1330 participants were trained to start their own chili farms but only 129 had started their own chili farms (approximately 10%) due to a variety of factors such as the lack of capital and not having access to land to plant these chilies. Given the amount of funds spent on training these participants (a total of RM9.6m or RM7300 per person), this low conversion rate raises issues about the effectiveness of NAAM’s flagship program of chili farming.

    2) The inability of many of these participants to obtain financing to start their own chili farms is also worrying

    Out of these 1330 participants, only 11 were successful in obtaining loans from TEKUN to start their own chili farms and the amount they could borrow was RM19,000 whereas the estimated cost of starting a chili farm was given by the chairman at RM40,000. This means that for most of the participants of NAAM’s training program, which comprised of marginalized Indian youth with very little capital, it is almost impossible for them to find the funds to start their own chili farms.

    3) More disclosure of information is needed e.g. training companies

    While the chairman of NAAM did show me a breakdown of the expenditure of NAAM in 2014 and 2015, I was not given a copy of this expenditure. I am interested in the identities of the companies given the contracts to do agricultural training for the chili farms and to check their backgrounds. I have asked the chairman to publish this information on its website. I will wait to see if this is done or not. The identity of these companies is important in order to confirm that none of these contracts went to companies which are linked to MIC or to the chairman himself.

    4) Possible conflict of interest via NAAM Trading House Sdn Bhd

    NAAM set up a private company called NAAM Trading House Sdn Bhd which acts as the middleman between the chili farmers and the marketplace. NAAM Trading House Sdn Bhd is 49% owned by NAAM. A possible conflict of interest exists because NAAM Trading House may benefit from charging the chili farmers a transaction or commission fee from buying the chilies from the farmers and selling them to the marketplace.

    The chairman explained that NAAM Trading House Sdn Bhd is no longer active because the farmers sell their produce directly to FAMA and the markets. We are not sure how much profit was made by NAAM Trading House given that its 2014 accounts did not provide information on its revenue and profits.

    5) Suitability of government funds being allocated to an NGO headed by a Deputy Minister still questionable

    Finally, despite the extent to which the chairman was willing to disclose information regarding NAAM’s activities, I stand by my earlier position that it is not suitable for an NGO where half of its board of trustees are comprised of members of a political party – MIC, in this case – to receive government funding for it to conduct activities and programs.

    I will follow up with the chairman’s promise to provide me with a full list of details of all the 129 participants who have started their own chili farms. After getting this list, I will work with my colleagues and other interested parties to conduct a selected audit to evaluate the success of these chili farms.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

  • 10 Questions for Yayasan NAAM

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 31st of March, 2016

    These are the 10 questions which I will be asking Datuk M.Saravanan, Chairman of YAYASAN NAAM and Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, when I visit NAAM’s office later today.

    10 Questions for Yayasan NAAM

    1)      What is the organization structure of NAAM[1] and who are its staff?

    NAAM’s website only shows the board of trustees. The management staff of NAAM is not listed. I would like to know who is its CEO / Executive director and the rest of the management staff as well as the chairman / head of NAAM at the state level. I would also like to know how many of them are MIC leaders at the branch, division, state and national levels. For example, it is reported here that a Datuk VS Mogan is the chairman of NAAM in Negeri Sembilan.[2] He also happens to be the MIC information chief and member of the MIC Central Working Committee.

    This is to evaluate the extent to which NAAM is comprised of MIC leaders at various levels and hence whether NAAM is an MIC entity pretending to be an NGO.

    2)      What is the compensation structure of the board members of NAAM as well as its staff?

    I would also like to know the compensation arrangement (salary / allowances) for the board of NAAM, the management team as well as the state chairmen.

    This information is to evaluate to what extent NAAM is being used as a vehicle to reward MIC leaders financially.

    3)      What are the details in audited accounts for NAAM in 2014 and 2015?[3]

    NAAM submitted its accounts for Financial Year End 31st December 2014 on 30th June 2015. The accounts showed that NAAM did not have any income or expenditure. Why was this the case? Was NAAM not operational in 2014? Did it not receive any funds or incur any expenses in 2014?

    If the 2015 audited accounts are not ready, I would be satisfied with a copy of NAAM’s unaudited accounts showing the preliminary balance sheet, the P&L statement and the cash flow statement. This is to ensure that the funding which NAAM says that it has received is indeed being channelled through the accounts of NAAM and not through another entity.

    4)      What are the content of NAAM’s board meetings?

    If there were any board meeting minutes in 2014 or 2015 which documents the activities of NAAM, I would also like to inspect them. It is not uncommon for foundations / NGOs like NAAM to have quarterly board meetings to report on the progress of its activities.

    Having access to these minutes would allow me to check whether NAAM has regular progress reports to its board so that the board can evaluate the effectiveness of NAAM’s activities.

    5)      Can NAAM furnish me with a list of all its programs and activities run in 2014 and 2015, the participants of these programs and how much each program cost?

    Chairman or NAAM and Deputy Youth and Sports Minister, Datuk M. Saravanan promised that he would give me a full breakdown of the activities of NAAM in a press conference yesterday.[4] I hope that he can follow through on this promise.

    Having this list of participants would enable the public know who exactly were the beneficiaries of NAAM’s programs and how much was spent to train each of them. It would also enable the press and other interested parties to contact the participants themselves to see the extent to which they benefitted from NAAM’s programs and to ascertain if a majority of them were MIC members.

    6)      Where is the budget item from which NAAM obtained its funding from?

    It was reported that Saravanan had said that the RM19 million received by NAAM in 2015 was given by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) under the Prime Minister’s department. A check of the EPU’s operating expenditure in 2015 showed that it was allocated RM48.8 million out of which RM40 million was for the payment of salaries. Did NAAM’s allocation in 2015 come from EPU’s operating expenditure? Or did it come from another budget item under the Prime Minister’s department? Is NAAM’s allocation classified under operating expenditure or development expenditure?

    What is NAAM’s budget allocation for 2016?

    This information is important from a transparency standpoint since Saravanan had said that the money did not come from the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

    7)      Is NAAM also involved in other business activities in order to seek profit for itself?

    NAAM is the 49% and controlling shareholder of NAAM Trading House Sdn Bhd which lists its core business as the export and import of fruits and vegetable food products. On the 15th of January, 2015, NAAM Trading House Sdn Bhd signed an MOU with DRS Trading Sdn Bhd which is also involved in the distribution of agriculture products.[5] What are the details of this MOU? What is the purpose of NAAM getting involved in business for itself?

    Is NAAM getting involved in business so that the other shareholders of NAAM Trading House Sdn Bhd can earn a profit for themselves? The other shareholders of NAAM Trading House Sdn Bhd include Kesavan A/L Kandasamy (MIC Youth National Leader, Office Bearer in charge of New Media) with a 30% share, G. Padmanathan (former MIC FT Youth Chief) with a 19% share and M.Mathuraiveran (MIC CWC Member) with the remaining 2% share.

    8)      What are the standard operating procedures (SOPs) used by NAAM to process claims and expenditures it has incurred and does NAAM claim these expenses from the Ministry of Youth and Sports under which NAAM’s funds are supposedly parked?

    This is an important point since NAAM signed an MOU with the Ministry of Youth and Sports to support the Corporate Integrity Pledge (CIP). I would like to see a sample of the claim forms and procedures used by NAAM and how the Ministry of Youth and Sports ‘signed off’ on NAAM’s expenditures as part of the monitoring mechanism. The transparency of this monitoring mechanism is all the more important given the recent investigations into large scale corruption in the Ministry of Youth and Sports by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

    9)      How successful has NAAM been in helping Indian Youths obtain access to TEKUN loans for their chili planting and other entrepreneurial endeavours? Can these records be revealed?

    There have been numerous news reports on how NAAM wants to help Indian youths to obtain loans from Tabung Ekonomi Kumpulan Usaha Niaga (TEKUN), an agency under the Ministry of Agriculture.[6] At the same time, it has also been reported that NAAM will act as the middleman to collect the loan payments from these young Indian entrepreneurs to pay back TEKUN.[7] I would like to examine the records of how many individuals have NAAM help to obtain loans from TEKUN and what is their track record in paying back these loans.

    Furthermore, I would like to ask why NAAM needs to spend the bulk of its expenditure to help the chili farmers when many of them are able to borrow money from TEKUN?

    10)   Why is there a need for NAAM when an existing agency – SEED – has already been set-up to help Indian entrepreneurs?

    The Secretariat for the Empowerment of Indian Entrepreneurs (SEED) which sits in the Prime Minister’s Department was established in 2012 with the specific purpose of providing assistance to Indian entrepreneurs especially at the SME and individual levels.[8] Under the SEED program, RM180m of funds was set aside under 5 discreet programs to help different groups of Indian entrepreneurs. This includes RM30 million for the “Skim Pembangunan Usahawan Masyarakat Indian (SPUMI)” which is parked under TEKUN. SEED also works with other agencies such as SME Corp and Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) in order to assist Indian entrepreneurs obtain funding and loans. Given that there was already an existing government organization under the Prime Minister’s department, why is there a need for NAAM, especially when it seems to be duplicating the efforts of SEED?

    Hopefully, I will be able to have satisfactory answers to these 10 questions when I visit NAAM’s office later today.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

    [1] For the rest of this statement, NAAM refers to Yayasan NAAM.

    [2] http://www.bernama.com/bernama/state_news/bm/news.php?cat=sl&id=1205456

    [3] The assumption here is that the activities relating to chili planting and youth development is related to YAYASAN NAAM, the company registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) rather than an entity which is registered with the Registrar of Societies (ROS). I stand to be corrected on this point since it is possible that NAAM also registered itself under ROS as well as CCM.

    [4] http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/335808

    [5] https://www.facebook.com/datuksaravanan/posts/768011720009801

    [6] http://ww1.utusan.com.my/utusan/Selatan/20140712/ws_05/500-belia-terima-faedah-projek-NAAM, http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/01/121186/saravanan-wants-tekun-assist-indian-youths and http://www.therakyatpost.com/news/2014/07/21/naam-pilot-project-help-500-indian-youths/

    [7] http://superteks.rtm.gov.my/index.php/berita/tempatan/6364-yayasan-naam-tekun-jalin-kerjasama-bantu-usahawan-belia-india

    [8] http://www.seed.org.my/aboutus/index.php?id=8

  • 青年及体育部给予由国大党控制的基金会高达一千九百万令吉的政府拨款的作法是完全不能被接受的

    (2016年3月29日)沙登区国会议员王建民博士的媒体文告 

    青年及体育部给予由国大党控制的基金会高达一千九百万令吉的政府拨款的作法是完全不能被接受的

    在2016年3月8日,华都牙也区国会议员西华古玛在国会上针对由新扶贫运动基金会(NAAM)所进行的辣椒种植计划的有效性及所获得拨款的数目提出质询,而所受到的答复揭露青体部的拨款高达一千九百万令吉。[1]

    Yayasan NAAM或新扶贫运动基金会是一间由青体部长拿都沙拉华南担任主席的注册公司。[2] 其余董事包括国大党前直落甘榜区国会议员克里斯南(L. Krishnan) [3],现任国大党中央工作委员会马都马里慕都(Madhu Marimuthu)及国大党法律顾问西瓦 (Selva Kumar A/L Mookiah) (请参阅附录一)。[5]

    政府拨款予一个完全由政党有效控制的非政府组织是完全不可接受和不道德的作法。我们很难想象这样的画面,倘若槟州政府也利用州政府的资金来拨款予一个由行动党控制及能自由调动资金来进行政治活动的非政府组织。有鉴于此,反贪会应马上对此组织立即展开调查。

    这种滥用公款的作法是难以被接受,尤其是当青体部与新扶贫运动基金会已在2014年5月共同签署支持企业诚信承诺(CIP)的备忘录。[6] 最近青体部涉及1.7亿令吉的贪污案件已清楚地显示了滥用公款及舞弊贪污事件可以在光天化日之下逃过部长法眼而发生。现在更是涉及了一间不被总稽查司审核及不在青体部管辖下的公司?经过了超过两年的注册,新扶贫运动基金会迄今只有一个设计简陋的网站,而理应要大力向青年社群宣传的基金会,甚至连一个面子书页面或推特帐户都没有。[7]

    我促请青年和体育部部长凯里解释为什么允许他的部门拨款给由国大党控制的非政府组织,并向公众保证Yayasan NAAM不会滥用公款。

    王建民博士
    沙登区国会议员

    附录一:新扶贫运动基金会(Yayasan NAAM)的董事名单

    附录二:有关联邦政府拨款一千九百万令吉予新扶贫运动基金会(Yayasan NAAM)的国会答复

    [1] 根据这份报道,新扶贫运动基金会共获得高达3千700万令吉的拨款

    http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2014/04/30/naam-aims-to-give-indian-youth-a-lift/

    [2] http://www.naam.org.my/v1/index.html

    [3] http://www.lions308b1.org/home/our-district/district-governor/

    [4] http://www.mic.org.my/about-us/leadership/cwc

    [5] http://www.mic.org.my/news-events/press-statements/2014/press-statement-mr-selva-mookiah-legal-advisor-malaysian-indian

    [6] http://www.kbs.gov.my/my/ucapan-menteri-kbs.html?download=11:majlis-menandatangani-memorandum-persefahaman-dan-ikrar-integriti-korporat-oleh-yayasan-naam-dan-kementerian-belia-dan-sukan and http://www.pemandu.gov.my/gtp/upload/NAAM_KBS_CIP_Press_Statement_PEMANDU.pdf

    [7] 我们发现有新扶贫运动基金会联邦直辖区的面子书页面(https://www.facebook.com/NAAMWP) 和推特账号 (@naamwp) ,但却没有属于整个基金会或国家组织的账号。

  • Pemberian dana kerajaan berjumlah RM19 juta oleh KBS kepada NGO yang dikawal oleh MIC adalah sama sekali tidak dapat diterima dan tidak beretika

    Kenyataan Media oleh Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Ahli Parlimen Serdang pada 29 Mac 2016

    Pemberian dana kerajaan berjumlah RM19 juta oleh KBS kepada NGO yang dikawal oleh MIC adalah sama sekali tidak dapat diterima dan tidak beretika

    Dalam jawapan balas pada 8 Mac 2016 kepada soalan dari Ahli Parlimen Batu Gajah, V. Sivakumar, berhubung keberkesanan program penanaman cili yang dijalankan oleh NAAM dan jumlah peruntukan yang disalurkan kepada NAAM, telah didedahkan bahawa wang berjumlah RM19 juta diberi kepada Yayasan NAAM melalui Kementerian Belia dan Sukan (Lihat Lampiran 2).[1]

    Yayasan NAAM atau New Affirmative Action Movement merupakan sebuah syarikat berdaftar yang diketuai oleh Timbalan Menteri KBS, M. Saravanan.[2] Lembaga pengarah / pemegang amanah syarikat termasuklah Krishnan A/L Letchumanan atau L. Krishnan (mantan Ahli Parlimen MIC bagi Teluk Kemang[3] Mathuraiverna A/L Marimuthu atau M. Marimuthu (Ahli Jawatankuasa Kerja Pusat MIC)[4] dan Selva Kumar A/L Mookiah (Penasihat Undang-Undang MIC)[5]. (Lampiran 1)

    Pemberian dana kerajaan kepada sebuah NGO yang dikuasai oleh parti politik adalah sama sekali tidak boleh diterima dan tidak beretika. Kita dapat bayangkan kemarahan yang akan timbul jika Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang menyalurkan dana kerajaan kepada NGO yang dikawal oleh DAP dan bebas menggunakan dana tersebut bagi menjalankan aktiviti politik. SPRM juga pasti akan diminta untuk menyiasat NGO tersebut dengan serta merta.

    Memorandum persefahaman Ikrar Integriti Korporat yang ditandatangani oleh Menteri KBS dan Yayasan NAAM pada Mei 2014 tidak menjadikan penyalahgunaan dana kerajaan ini lebih mudah diterima.[6] Pendedahan penyelewengan melibatkan dana RM107 juta di KBS menunjukkan bahawa penyalahgunaan dana dan rasuah boleh berlaku di bawah mata Menteri sendiri. Apatah lagi apabila syarikat yang terlibat ini tidak diaudit oleh Ketua Audit Negara dan tidak di bawah kawalan KBS? Selepas lebih daripada dua tahun selepas pendaftaran, Yayasan NAAM hanya mempunyai laman web asas dan meskipun ianya merupakan sebuah yayasan yang dikatakan mendekati golongan muda, ia langsung tidak mempunyai akaun Facebook mahupun Twitter.[7]

    Saya menggesa Menteri KBS, Khairy Jamaluddin untuk menerangkan mengapa dana di Kementerian beliau diberikan kepada NGO yang dikawal oleh MIC, serta memberi jaminan bahawa tiada sebarang dana kerajaan disalahgunakan oleh Yayasan NAAM.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Ahli Parlimen Serdang

    Lampiran 1: Senarai Nama Pengarah Yayasan NAAM

    Appendix 2: Jawapan Parlimen tentang pemberian dana RM19 juta dari Kerajaan Persekutuan kepada Yayasan NAAM

    [1] Menurut laporan ini, geran RM37 juta telah diberi kepada Yayasan NAAM http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2014/04/30/naam-aims-to-give-indian-youth-a-lift/

    [2] http://www.naam.org.my/v1/index.html

    [3] http://www.lions308b1.org/home/our-district/district-governor/

    [4] http://www.mic.org.my/about-us/leadership/cwc

    [5] http://www.mic.org.my/news-events/press-statements/2014/press-statement-mr-selva-mookiah-legal-advisor-malaysian-indian

    [6] http://www.kbs.gov.my/my/ucapan-menteri-kbs.html?download=11:majlis-menandatangani-memorandum-persefahaman-dan-ikrar-integriti-korporat-oleh-yayasan-naam-dan-kementerian-belia-dan-sukan and http://www.pemandu.gov.my/gtp/upload/NAAM_KBS_CIP_Press_Statement_PEMANDU.pdf

    [7] Terdapat akaun Facebook untuk Persatuan NAAM Wilayah Persekutuan (https://www.facebook.com/NAAMWP) dan akaun Twitter untuk NAAMWP (@naamwp) tetapi tiada akaun untuk yayasan atau pertubuhan tersebut di peringkat nasional.

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