KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 — Two senior executives have been arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over alleged false claims and misappropriation of RM100 million in Employment Recruitment Incentives Programme (PenjanaKerjaya) funds.
According to The Star, MACC sources said the two — a 41-year-old company director and a 40-year-old CEO — were arrested in Kuala Lumpur around 1.30pm yesterday.
MACC senior director of investigation Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hashim confirmed the arrests.
The sources added that the two were suspected of submitting invoices for PenjanaKerjaya with false details to the Social Security Organisation (Socso).
“This is so that the company can receive payment allocated under the National Economic Recovery Plan amounting to RM700,000 when the programme was not fully implemented,” one source was quoted as saying
The CEO, a woman, was released after the MACC recorded her statement, while the director has been remanded until July 21.
On July 13, MACC and Socso launched “Ops Hire” to investigate the issue of false claims and misappropriation of the PenjanaKerjaya funds in several states.
On July 15, it was reported that MACC had remanded 40 individuals to assist in the investigations, with Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan also throwing his support for the operation, saying that those responsible for making false claims must be brought to justice and be punished.
PenjanaKerjaya was introduced in 2020 under the National Economic Recovery Plan, offering financial incentives of between RM600 and RM1,000 to employers for each employee or apprentice employed for up to six months.
According to Saravanan, the total payments made by the Socso to employers and workers under the PenjanaKerjaya programme was RM2.34 billion, involving 45,379 employers to provide 327,789 workers with jobs.
He said any employer or training operator that made false claims in the programme are urged to come forward to Socso and repay the incentive to avoid stern legal action in the future.
Saravanan also said that Socso had suspended RM423 million in PenjanaKerjaya payments based on data analysis and continuous monitoring of the programme’s operations.