NPC: We only played role of coordinator for media
KUALA LUMPUR: The National Press Club (Malaysia) clarified that it only played the role of a coordinator to invite journalists from the mainstream media to participate in an overseas programme in 2017.
NPC president Datuk Mokhtar Hussain said in a statement yesterday that the NPC’s role was to get 25 journalists and editors to participate in the Industry 4.0 and Digitalisation Programme for the Media that involved sending two batches of journalists to Berlin in September and December 2017.
He also said that the NPC was not aware how much was spent on the programme and the NPC did not receive any funds from the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) or the training provider involved.
The NPC statement comes in the wake of a report in the media on the police raid last Friday on the HRDF office which stated that the raid and probe were also related to “a trip undertaken by members of the National Press Club, allegedly involving some RM2.2mil”.
Mokhtar said the NPC submitted a written clarification to the Compliance and Governance Unit of the HRDF on Dec 22, 2018 as a follow-up to a meeting called by the unit on the matter on Dec 18, 2018 at the HRDF office.
“The NPC categorically states that as far as it is concerned, its role as the coordinator for the programme was above board,” he said.
He also said the NPC was prepared to give its fullest cooperation to the HRDF, the police and other authorities with regard to the probe into the matter. Mokhtar said that as the coordinator, the NPC prepared a letter which was sent out to all the mainstream media organisations, which pay the HRDF levies for training, explaining that the employers would have to pay for the airfares of participants which could later be claimed from the HRDF.
After the letters were sent out, one assigned NPC executive committee member followed up with the news organisations, he said, adding that as there was no secretariat to do this, the training provider also did the follow-up.
“The names of the eventual participants were conveyed directly to the training provider which compiled the list of participants. The final selection of the participants was also done by the training provider,” he added. — Bernama