10 Soalan untuk Yayasan NAAM

Kenyataan Media oleh Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Ahli Parlimen Serdang pada 31 Mac 2016

Berikut adalah 10 soalan yang akan saya tanya kepada Datuk M. Saravanan, Pengerusi YAYASAN NAAM merangkap Timbalan Menteri Kementerian Belia dan Sukan apabila saya mengunjungi pejabat NAAM nanti pada hari ini.

10 Soalan untuk Yayasan NAAM                               

1) Apakah struktur organisasi NAAM dan siapakah stafnya?[1]

Laman web NAAM hanya memaparkan senarai pemegang amanah tanpa ada senarai staf pengurusan. Saya ingin mengetahui siapakah CEO / Pengarah Eksekutif, staf pengurusan dan Pengerusi/ Ketua NAAM pada semua peringkat pentadbiran. Sebagai contoh, dilaporkan bahawa Datuk VS Mogan merupakan Pengerusi NAAM Negeri Sembilan.[2] Pada masa yang sama, beliau merupakan Ketua Penerangan MIC serta Ahli Jawatankuasa Kerja Pusat MIC.

Tujuan soalan ini adalah untuk menilai sejauh mana NAAM dianggotai oleh pemimpin MIC dan sama ada NAAM merupakan entiti MIC yang berpura-pura menjadi NGO.

2) Apakah struktur pampasan bagi lembaga pengarah dan staf NAAM?

Saya juga ingin mengetahui apakah bentuk pampasan (gaji/elaun) bagi lembaga pengarah NAAM, pengurusan dan juga Pengerusi Negeri.

Maklumat ini adalah untuk mengetahui sejauh mana NAAM digunakan sebagai alat untuk memberi ganjaran kewangan kepada pemimpin MIC.

3) Apakah maklumat di dalam akaun NAAM yang diaudit pada 2014 dan 2015?[3]

Pada 30 Jun 2015, NAAM telah menghantar akaun bagi Tahun Kewangan 2014 yang berakhir pada 31 Disember 2014. Akauan tersebut menunjukkan bahawa NAAM tidak mempunyai sebarang pendapatan mahupun perbelanjaan. Bagaimana perkara ini boleh berlaku? Adakah NAAM tidak beroperasi pada tahun 2014? Adakah NAAM tidak menerima sebarang dana atau menanggung sebarang perbelanjaan pada tahun 2014?

Jika akaun yang diaudit bagi tahun 2015 masih belum tersedia, saya tetap akan berpuas hati dengan sesalinan akaun yang belum diaudit yang mengandungi kunci kira-kira permulaan, penyata untung rugi dan penyata aliran tunai. Ini adalah bagi memastikan dana yang diterima oleh NAAM pada tahun lepas memang telah disalurkan kepada akaun NAAM dan bukannya melalui entiti lain.

4) Apakah kandungan mesyuarat lembaga pengarah NAAM?

Jika terdapat mesyuarat lembaga pada 2014 atau 2015 yang mencatatkan aktiviti NAAM, saya juga ingin meneliti minit-minit mesyuarat tersebut. Bukan sesuatu yang luar biasa untuk yayasan / NGO seperti NAAM untuk mengadakan mesyuarat lembaga setiap suku tahun bagi melaporkan kemajuan aktiviti mereka.

Akses kepada minit-minit ini akan membolehkan saya memeriksa sama ada NAAM kerap melaporkan kemajuannya kepada lembaga yang membolehkan lembaga menilai keberkesanan aktiviti NAAM.

5) Bolehkah NAAM memberi saya senarai kesemua program dan aktiviti yang dijalankan pada tahun 2014 dan 2015, lengkap dengan butiran peserta-peserta aktiviti serta kos bagi setiap program?

Pengerusi NAAM merangkap Timbalan Menteri KBS, Datuk M. Saravanan semalam ketika sidang media telah berjanji akan memberikan saya senarai penuh pecahan aktiviti yang dijalankan oleh NAAM.[4] Saya berharap bahawa beliau akan menunaikan janji tersebut.

Senarai peserta akan membolehkan orang awam mengetahui siapakah penerima manfaat daripada program NAAM dan berapa kos yang digunakan bagi melatih mereka. Ini juga akan membolehkan media dan pihak lain menghubungi peserta bagi melihat sejauh mana manfaat yang diterima melalui program NAAM dan bagi mengenal pasti sama ada majoriti daripada mereka adalah ahli MIC.

6) Dari perkara belanjawan mana telah NAAM memperolehi dananya?

Saravanan telah dipetik berkata bahawa RM19 juta yang diterima NAAM pada 2015 adalah diberi oleh Unit Perancang Ekonomi (EPU) di bawah Jabatan Perdana Menteri. Semakan ke atas perbelanjaan mengurus EPU tahun 2015 menunjukkan bahawa NAAM diperuntukkan sejumlah RM48.8 juta di mana RM40 juta daripadanya digunakan untuk pembayaran gaji.  Adakah peruntukan NAAM pada tahun 2015 berasal dari perbelanjaan mengurus EPU? Atau adakah ia berasal dari perkara belanjawan lain di bawah JPM? Adakah peruntukan NAAM dikategorikan sebagai perbelanjaan mengurus atau perbelanjaan pembangunan?

Apakah peruntukan bajet NAAM bagi tahun 2016?

Maklumat ini adalah penting dari sudut ketelusan memandangkan Saravanan telah berkata bahawa duit tersebut tidak datang dari KBS.

7) Adakah NAAM juga terlibat dalam aktiviti perniagaan lain bagi mendapatkan keuntungan untuk diri sendiri?

NAAM memegang 49% saham dalam NAAM Trading House Sdn. Bhd yang menyenaraikan perniagaan terasnya sebagai eksport dan import produk buah-buahan dan sayur-sayuran. Pada 15 Januari 2015, NAAM Trading House Sdn Bhd telah menandatangani perjanjian persefahaman (MoU) dengan DRS Trading Sdn Bhd yang juga terlibat dalam pengagihan produk pertanian.[5] Apakah butiran MoU ini dan apa tujuan NAAM terlibat dalam perniagaan ini?

Adakah NAAM melibatkan diri dalam perniagaan supaya pemegang saham NAAM Trading House Sdn Bhd juga boleh menerima keuntungan bagi diri mereka? Pemegang saham yang lain bagi NAAM Trading House Sdn Bhd adalah Kesavan A/L Kandasamy (Ketua Pemuda Nasional MIC, Biro Media Baru) dengan pegangan 30%, G. Padmanathan (mantan Ketua Pemuda Wilayah Persekutuan) dengan pegangan 19% serta M. Mathuraiveran (Ahli Jawatankuasa Kerja Pusat MIC) dengan pegangan 2%.

8) Apakah prosedur operasi standard (SOP) yang digunakan oleh NAAM bagi memproses tuntutan dan perbelanjaan dan adakah NAAM membuat tuntutan perbelanjaan tersebut daripada KBS di mana dana NAAM kononnya disimpan?

Ini merupakan perkara penting memandangkan NAAM telah menandatangani MoU dengan KBS bagi menyokong Ikrar Intergriti Korporat. Saya juga ingin melihat contoh borang tuntutan dan prosedur NAAM dan bagaimana KBS menandatangani borang tersebut sebagai salah satu cara pemantauan. Ketelusan mekanisme pemantauan ini adalah penting berikutan siasatan oleh SPRM pada baru-baru ini berkenaan kes rasuah berskala besar yang berlaku di KBS.

9) Sejauh mana kejayaan NAAM dalam membantu belia India mendapat akses kepada bantuan TEKUN bagi penanaman cili dan program keusahawanan lain? Bolehkah rekod ini didedahkan?

Terdapat banyak laporan berita tentang bagaimana NAAM mahu membantu belia India bagi mendapatkan pinjaman daripada Tabung Ekonomi Kumpulan Uasaha Niaga (TEKUN) yang merupakan sebuah agensi di bawah Kementerian Pertanian.[6] Pada masa yang sama, dilaporkan juga bahawa NAAM akan bertindak sebagai orang tengah untuk mengumpul bayaran pinjaman daripada usahawan-usahawan India ini untuk dibayar balik kepada TEKUN.[7] Saya ingin menyemak rekod untuk mendapat tahu berapa ramai individu yang telah dibantu oleh NAAM dalam mendapatkan pinjaman daripada TEKUN dan apakah rekod pembayaran balik pinjaman ini.

Tambahan lagi, saya ingin mengetahui mengapa NAAM perlu membelanjakan sebahagian besar daripada perbelanjaan mereka bagi membantu petani cili sedangkan mereka boleh membuat pinjaman daripada TEKUN?

10) Apakah keperluan penubuhan NAAM sedangkan adanya SEED, iaitu agensi yang ditubuhkan bagi membantu usahawan India?

Sekretariat Untuk Memperkasakan Usahawan India (SEED) telah ditubuhkan pada 2012 di bawah Jabatan Perdana Menteri dengan tujuan khas memberi bantuan kepada usahawan India terutamanya di peringkat individu dan Industri Kecil Sederhana (IKS).[8] Di bawah program SEED, dana RM180 juta telah dibahagikan kepada 5 program untuk membantu kumpulan usahawan India yang berbeza. Ini termasuklah RM30 juta bagi “Skim Pembangunan Usahawan Masyarakat India (SPUMI)” yang terletak di bawah TEKUN. SEED juga sedang bekerjasama dengan agensi seperti SME Corp dan Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) bagi membolehkan usahawan India mendapatkan dana dan pinjaman. Memandangkan telah wujud organisasi kerajaan sedia ada di bawah JPM, mengapa NAAM diperlukan terutamanya jika kerjanya seolah-olah bertindih dengan kerja SEED?

Saya berharap akan mendapat jawapan yang memuas hati kepada 10 soalan ini ketika lawatan saya ke pejabat NAAM nanti pada hari ini.

Dr. Ong Kian Ming
Ahli Parlimen Serdang

[1] Untuk kenyataan media ini, NAAM merujuk kepada Yayasan NAAM.

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

[3] Andaian di sini adalah bahawa aktiviti-aktiviti berkaitan dengan penanaman cili dan pembangunan belia dikaitkan dengan YAYASAN NAAM, iaitu syarikat yang didaftarkan dengan Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM) dan bukannya entiti yang didaftarkan dengan Pertubuhan Persatuan Malaysia (ROS). Saya akan terima perbetulan jika didapati bahawa NAAM telah mendaftarkan dirinya di bawah ROS serta CCM juga.

[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

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