More questions have been raised regarding the disbursement of funds by the Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (MITRA), which falls under the purview of the Prime Minister's Department.

This time, it concerns a RM5 million allocation for the construction of a Hindu temple in Putrajaya.

Parti Negara vice-president S Gobi Krishnan has questioned how an allocation for the construction of a temple could empower the Indian community's economy.

"Are temple allocations part of MITRA's policy? If so, why aren't other temples getting it (allocations)?" he was quoted saying by Malaysiakini.

He further claimed that MITRA has promised to give the same temple another RM5 million next year, bringing the total allocation to RM10 million.

While stressing that he is not against government allocation for houses of worship, Gobi Krishnan said such funds should come from special of additional funds, and not from a special unit like MITRA.

The RM5 million allocation is also not stated in MITRA's website, he further claimed.

Dealing in such questionable allocations would make MITRA no different than its predecessor, the Socio-Economic Development of the Indian Community Unit (SEDIC), he noted.

SEDIC, which was under the BN administration, is now under scrutiny, after it was reported that grants worth millions of ringgit meant for the upliftment of the Indian community had been mismanaged.

The Auditor-General report 2018 Series 1 found that SEDIC had no records or database to monitor some RM203.89 million worth of funds given between 2014 and 2018, to run development programmes for the Indian community, leading to the funds not being utilised for its intended purpose, or going missing.

Gobi Krishnan further told the portal that he has proof that a DAP assemblyperson has secured RM101,800 in Mitra funding for an NGO run by his or her spouse, and charged that this amounts to abuse of power by the former.

Previously, MITRA has come under fire from Penang Chief Minister II P Ramasamy over the utilisation of the RM100 million funding given by the government for the socio-economic development of the Indian community.

This after it was revealed in Parliament that RM31.5 million out of the amount, had been disbursed under two phases.

The recipients include questionable entities such as Kelab Peminat Shivaji Rao (Shivaji Rao Fan Club), and NGOs whose contributions to the Indian community are vague, like the Persatuan Sikhs and Kaurs, Ramasamy had pointed out.

Source: Malaysiakini, Free Malaysia Today
Photo source: New Straits Times, MITRA website