MACC: Lax conditions allowed PenjanaKerjaya scams, more suspects to be charged soon

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 — Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) senior director of investigations Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hashim said lax conditions set by the government had allowed those applying for funds under PenjanaKerjaya to cheat their way into getting hold of the funds.

Hishamuddin said the suspects had used documents containing false information on workers and training programmes to the Social Security Organisation (Socso) to obtain funds, The Star reported.

He said a special operation was carried out to look into claims of leakages and abuse of public funds.

“The focus of our investigations is on companies suspected to have committed corruption, forgery of documents and cheating, to obtain government funds under the PenjanaKerjaya programme via Socso.

“Our findings revealed that suspects identified under Ops Hire had taken advantage of the lenient conditions and had used false information to apply for the funds,” he was quoted as saying.

The report stated the PenjayaKerjaya — a programme under the National Economic Recovery Plan was — launched in 2020, offering financial incentives of between RM600 and RM1,000 to employers for each employee or apprentice employed for up to six months.

Hishamuddin said since July last year, the MACC had carried out “Ops Hire” in collaboration with Socso.

He said that Ops Hire saw 74 people arrested while 61 companies investigated.

“It was found that the amount of money involved in this crime amounted to RM87,980,757.29,” he added.

As of January 19, a total of 27 individuals had been charged in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Melaka, involving false claims amounting to RM4,927,440.00.

He said that RM3 million seized from the suspects had been forfeited.

“We are expecting more suspects to be charged once the probe against them is completed,” he reportedly said.

In July last year, the MACC announced that along with Socso, it had launched a nationwide operation to investigate allegations of false claims and misappropriation of incentives under the PenjanaKerjaya.