Totally unacceptable and unethical for the Ministry of Youth and Sports to give an MIC-controlled foundation RM19 million in government funds

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, 29th of March 2016

Totally unacceptable and unethical for the Ministry of Youth and Sports to give an MIC-controlled foundation RM19 million in government funds

In a parliamentary reply on the 8th of March, 2016, to a question asked by MP for Batu Gajah, V.Sivakumar, on the effectiveness of the chili planting program conducted by NAAM and the amount of funds that were channelled to NAAM, it was revealed that an amount totalling RM19 million was given to Yayasan NAAM via the Ministry of Youth and Sports (See Appendix 2).[1]

Yayasan NAAM or the New Affirmative Action Movement is a registered company chaired by the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, M. Saravanan.[2] The other board of directors / trustees include Krishnan A/L Letchumanan or L. Krishnan (former MIC MP for Teluk Kemang)[3], Mathuraiverna A/L Marimuthu or M.Marimuthu (current MIC CWC Member)[4] and Selva Kumar A/L Mookiah (MIC Legal Advisor)[5]. (Appendix 1)

The awarding of government funding to an NGO that is effectively controlled by a political party is totally unacceptable and unethical. One can imagine the furore that would have been caused if the Penang state government had channelled state funding to an NGO that was controlled by the DAP and has a free hand to use the funds to conduct its political activities. MACC would have been unleashed to investigate this NGO immediately.

The signing of the Corporate Integrity Pledge (CIP) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Yayasan NAAM in May 2014 does not make this abuse of government funding any more acceptable.[6] The recent revelation of a corruption case involving the embezzlement of RM107 million in the Ministry of Youth and Sports shows that the abuse of funds and corruption can happen under the nose of the Minister. What more when it involves a company that is not audited by the Auditor General and that is not under the control of the Ministry of Youth and Sports? More than two years after it was first registered, Yayasan NAAM only has a bare bones website and for a foundation that is supposed to reach out to the youth, it does not even have a facebook or a twitter account.[7]

I call upon Minister of Youth and Sports, Khairy Jamaluddin, to explain why funds from his Ministry were allocated to this MIC controlled NGO and to give us his assurance that there has not been any abuse of government funds by Yayasan NAAM.

Dr. Ong Kian Ming
Member of Parliament for Serdang

Appendix 1: List of Directors of Yayasan NAAM

Appendix 2: Parliamentary Answer on Yayasan NAAM being allocated RM19 million from the federal government

[1] According to this report, a grant of RM37m had been allocated to 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] There is a facebook account for Persatuan NAAM Wilayah Persekutuan (https://www.facebook.com/NAAMWP) and a twitter account for NAAMWP (@naamwp) but there is no account for the foundation or the organization at the national level.