PUTRAJAYA: The Social Security Organisation (Socso) and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) have managed to prevent losses of RM426 million in Hiring Incentive Programme (PenjanaKerjaya) funds, said Deputy Minister of Human Resources Mustapha Sakmud.
He said through an operation dubbed ‘Ops Hire” which was conducted since July last year, the agencies managed to thwart the amount from being siphoned through false claims made by irresponsible employers.
Speaking to reporters after the handing over of the 2023 Socso Welfare Grants to Institutions and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) here on Thursday, he said several arrests and prosecutions were made by the MACC since Jan 9 following Ops Hire.
“I was informed investigations were carried out by MACC and Socso and it was found that there were irregularities and employers were making false claims but eventually we managed to save RM426 million,” he said.
He said several more cases are waiting to be taken to court and the ministry will continue to monitor and track down employers who have submitted claims for the PenjanaKerjaya programme.
Mustapha said Socso has also set the parameters and improved the criteria for qualification for each PenjanaKerjaya programme to ensure that approval is only given to those qualified.
At the same time, Mustapha said that the courses conducted under the PenjanaKerjaya programme as well as the training providers were also being monitored to ensure the courses are relevant to the job scope and company needs.
Earlier, on Jan 21, MACC Investigation Division senior director Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hashim said 74 individuals were arrested and 61 companies were investigated under Ops Hire.
Hishamuddin said as of Jan 19, a total of 27 individuals have been charged in the Special Corruption Court in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Melaka under Section 18 of the MACC Act 2009 involving a total of RM4.92 million in false claims.
A total allocation of RM3.5 billion was channelled by the government for the PenjanaKerjaya programme via three phases namely PenjanaKerjaya 1.0 (June 1, 2020 to Dec 20. 2020), PenjanaKerjaya 2.0 (Dec 21, 2020 to June 30, 2021) and PenjanaKerjaya 3.0 (recovery phase) from June 15, 2021 to Dec 31, 2021.
Source : The Edge Markets