KUALA LUMPUR: A large amount of money from the Human Resources Development Funds (HRDF) Consolidated Fund had been abused by some members of the former management, including buying real estate in the country without the approval of the HRDF Board.
Human Minister M Kulasegaran to reveal the results of the Government Committee's Monitoring Committee (GOC) said the investigations showed that there were some elements of fraud, including high wages and bonuses paid to selective personnel.
"Big sums of money were also diverted without the HRDF's Board for Less Effective Education," he said during a council session with employers' associations and registered employers here yesterday.
The minister said there were also evidence of abuse of power with some training providers and some HRDF executives abused consolidated funds in the name of education.
"In these cases, the HRDF Board was informed only if the money had been spent.
"In other cases, management exceeded its authority and approved projects beyond their permitted limit," he said.
Kulasegaran said the government would take legal action against the parties involved and added that two police reports had been submitted in the case since the GOC final report was presented to the HRDF Board on 6 October.
At a press conference later, however, the minister did not show the sum of money and said he would leave the police to investigate.
"If it's RM1 or RM1 million, it makes no difference, a theft is a theft, a CBT (breach of trust) is CBT, wrong is wrong," he said.
He also invited HRDF's board to take GOC recommendations to strengthen the consolidated fund and to be as open as possible and to be responsible for the public.
"Its primary focus should be on educating, retraining and increasing the workforce. It should not be sidetracked to do other things." The HRDF is not an investment company or not a business in business. Their core business is education, he says.
HRDF was officially audited in June this year after revealing allegations that the former administration had used a fund of no more than RM300 million.
Subsequently, a member of five members, led by former international trade and industry secretary Tan Sri Rebecca Sta Maria, was formed on 28 June and was required to review all aspects of the board's management frameworks.
Sta Maria, who was also present at the press conference, said that the committee had also looked at questions about the Group's fund, for example, if there was a legal basis for the establishment of the consolidated fund.
According to the Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad Act 2001, registered employers with HRD have to contribute a percentage of the employee's monthly salary to the fund, where 30 percent of the fee was channeled to the consolidated fund since 2016 to help train employees from small businesses unable to afford to contribute to HRDF and employees from the B40 category. – Bernama