A donation made to Sri Lankan Tamils by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2012 has been questioned.
In 2012 the Malaysian Government donated US$1 million to the Malaysian Tamil Forum in Malaysia. The money was meant to assist Tamils in Sri Lanka who have been terribly affected by years of the civil war that ended in May 2009.
However the Deputy Chief Minister of Penang P Ramasamy noted that a few days ago, Ananthy Sasitharan, an elected representative of Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council, raised some questions about the donation.
“First, whether the donation to the Malaysian Tamil Forum was properly channelled to those affected by the war. Second, who were the beneficiaries and whether the Tamil Forum could provide the necessary information. Third, when were the funds distributed in Sri Lanka and who acted on behalf of the Tamil Forum. Sasitharan is upset that the leaders of the forum, considered as professionals, did not even bother to consult the elected Tamil representatives in the distribution of funds from the Malaysian government for a noble cause. The matter apparently has been reported to the Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council, Wigneswaran. He, in turn, has promised to raise the matter with the Sri Lankan Government to make representation to Malaysia,” Ramasamy said according to Free Malaysia Today.
He says US$1 million or RM4.2 million might not constitute a major donation. However considering the tragic plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka such a donation might make a significant difference.
“This is the main reason that elected Tamil representatives in the north are upset or frustrated. When one of the foundation representatives remarked that they owed no explanation to Sasitharan about the disbursement of the money, matters have been escalated to no purpose,” he said.
Ramasamy says if the Tamil Forum members can openly and frankly divulge the information about the status of the donation then there is a possibility the matter could be brought to a close.
However, he says if the whole matter is shrouded in secrecy then the controversy might be around for some time with unforeseen implications.