Former HDRF board member threatens to sue

PETALING JAYA: A former Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) board member has today threatened legal action against “an individual” who had made “slanderous, unfounded and completely baseless” attacks against him.

R. A. Thiagaraja, the president of the Federation of Malaysian Training Providers & TVET Associations (FMTA), didn't name the individual in his press statement.

He was responding to the allegations made on his position as a board member of HRDF during a townhall session organised by the agency in the presence of the Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran on June 7, and allegations made by an unnamed individual during a press conference yesterday.

“The issue of conflict of interest and misuse of power as alleged recently are truly defamatory in nature, Thiagaraja welcomes and supports investigations against him,” the statement said.

“Thiagaraja was elected President of the Federation of Malaysian Training Providers and TVET Associations (FMTA) in 2015, a position he still retains. In May 2017, he was appointed as a board member of HRDF by the then Human Resources Minister to represent the federation, its members and the industry players.”

FMTA's task is to provide input to HRDF as representatives of the industry. For the record, no funding or allocation from HRDF was received to date by FMTA or channelled to FMTA, it said.
 
“For the record, there are other training providers from various associations who are also part of the board. Therefore, we believe that this is a personal attack since he was singled out in the allegations,” the statement said.

“Thiagaraja said he welcomes any investigation, including by the MACC, and is also pursuing appropriate legal action(s) against the relevant parties in the 'slanderous and malicious' attacks against him.”

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Thiagaraja submitted his resignation as board member of HRDF on June 8, so as to ensure that HRDF is not dragged into the controversy and to allow the current Minister and the Agency to focus on HRDF's mission. The resignation was accepted by the Minister on June 12, the statement added.

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