In a bind over ‘ funds’

> Em­ploy­ers up­set over HRDF runaround on bal­ance of money for staff train­ing

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - BY V. RAGANANTHINI

PE­TAL­ING JAYA: The Hu­man Re­source De­vel­op­ment Fund (HRDF) is in a pickle.

First, it said that un­used monies from the 1Malaysia Glob­ally Recog­nised In­dus­try and Pro­fes­sional Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion (1Malaysi­aGRIP) would be chan­nelled into a con­sol­i­dated fund.

But in an about-turn, HRDF now claims that the en­tire un­used sum of about RM71 mil­lion has been put into a HRDF pool fund.

The pool fund, ac­cord­ing to HRDF, will be used for five other train­ing pro­grammes, which it claims will ben­e­fit “ap­prox­i­mately 36 as­so­ci­a­tions in Malaysia”. To ag­gra­vate the al­ready pent-up anger among em­ploy­ers, it has sub­se­quently claimed that all funds for the pro­gramme have been fully utilised.

In an ear­lier cir­cu­lar dated Dec 22 last year, HRDF chief ex­ec­u­tive C.M. Vig­naes­varan said as of Dec 31, RM86.3 mil­lion was taken from em­ploy­ers’ con­tri­bu­tions and al­lo­cated for the 1Malaysi­aGRIP pro­gramme.

Un­til last month, the sum had ex­ceeded RM100 mil­lion in con­tri­bu­tions from em­ploy­ers, with an ad­di­tional RM100 mil­lion from the govern­ment, HRDF said in its lat­est cir­cu­lar.

Vig­naes­varan had said only RM15.2 mil­lion was utilised to up­grade the skills of 19,000 work­ers, leav­ing about RM71 mil­lion, which he said would be put into a con­sol­i­dated fund.

The pro­gramme was or­dered to be ceased by the govern­ment in Septem­ber after protests from em­ploy­ers, who claimed that their con­tri­bu­tions were be­ing mis­used.

Em­ploy­ers are now de­mand­ing that HRDF ac­count for the money in­stead of say­ing that full util­i­sa­tion has re­sulted in no re­main­ing funds.

HRDF in a state­ment yes­ter­day in re­sponse to queries from theSun claimed it had no­ti­fied em­ploy­ers about the phas­ing out of the 1Malaysi­aGRIP pro­gramme and that the re­main­ing funds will be chan­nelled into a pool fund, in­stead of re­turn­ing it to em­ploy­ers’ in­di­vid­ual ac­counts.

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