Media statement by MP for Ipoh Barat, M. Kula Segaran on 29 December 2021:
Vultures who have hijacked funds of MITRA should be exposed and punished. Will the National Unity Minister do this?
We are taken aback that the National Unity Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique has decided not to discuss the MITRA scandal during a Parliament briefing session (taklimat), that she promised will be held on 14th January 2022.
In her letter to the speaker below, she said the special briefing session will only discuss the Pelan Tindakan Masyarakat India (PTMI) and nothing about MITRA. The discussion on PTMI will be only on policies. Don’t we have enough policies?
Why is there a need to reinvent the wheel with policies when the fault is not the policies but the implementation of these policies?
We welcome the proposed meeting but it’s short of what the MPs and concerned citizens are looking forward to. By confining the agenda just on PTMI it looks like the discussion will be only on the peripherals of real issues. Malaysians have been looking forward to hearing the detailed exposure and mismanagement that have taken place with MITRA’s implementation and the ways to address it.
MITRA (which was initially known as SEDIC), is a vehicle to empower the Indian community but unfortunately instead of uplifting the Indian Community, it deviated and lost focus. Allegations are that some politicians from MIC have diverted the funds for their own political purposes instead of achieving the goals of the MIB.
People are very concerned over the misuse of MITRA funds and they want the perpetrators punished, not protected.
When the MITRA scandal was exposed, the MACC quickly arrested a few and we are now told some of those arrested would be charged.
There must be openness, so I ask again why can’t this issue be discussed in the meeting planned, why is there no in depth explanation to taxpayers about why their money was misused and hijacked?
There is no need for any secrecy and there is no need to hide from it. The meeting is meaningless if the Minister is only going to discuss policy matters. We are always making good policies but the implementation of it is poor.
This meeting is important because when the Minister explained in Parliament, there was insufficient depth to the matter at hand. I call upon the Minister to be brave, serve the people and not possible cabinet members that have been implicated in the misuse of MITRA funds.
On November 17, during her winding-up speech of the Supply Bill 2022, Halimah said she will give opposition members as well as other stakeholders a chance to raise questions and suggestions about MITRA at a special briefing session.
I have said many times that the MITRA scandal must be investigated as it not only deals with the misuse of millions of Ringgit to implement socio-economic programmes of the Indian community in Malaysia, but it also deals with mismanagement of the funds over the years that saw RM400 million meant for the poor, not disbursed within time and returned to the government.
It serves little or no purpose if the discussion doesn’t confront the wrong doings that have taken place in MITRA. I urge the Minister to rethink and re-evaluate to incorporate the necessity to discuss the MITRA scandal. This is definitely the most pressing issue now when talking about the Indian community; those funds can make a big difference in their lives.
Pull the bull by the horns, Minister! You need to address the wrongs in MITRA, Be courageous, bold and honest when confronting this delicate matter. Anything less is just a let down to the community which has never been more in need of assistance.