Author Topic: Retired businessman blames Human Resources Ministry for wrecking his hope  (Read 2625 times)

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Offline Sorrowthing

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Cecilia Jeyanthi Victor

PETALING JAYA: It’s natural for parents to want to equip their children with some skills to make good in life if they are not academically inclined. But what retired businessman Leong Yook Kong went through may just dampen their spirits.

Leong enrolled his son for a course certified by the Human Resources Ministry (MOHR) but his hope has turned into a nightmare.

Leong has been trying in vain to get the ministry to clarify its Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM) course after suspecting irregularities. He claimed that the ministry simply ignored him and dismissed the issue.

Leong’s frustration began in 2008 when he had his son enrolled in an SKM course developed by the ministry to help students who are not academically inclined.

The certificate, recognised by the government, was adopted in the 10th Malaysia Plan as the single Skills/Vocational Certification for the country that prepares individuals for employment in the technical industry.

Having been approved and recognised by the Public Service Department for 13 schemes of services for skilled positions in the civil service, it gives a jumpstart to graduates to pursue their careers in specified areas.

However, Leong claimed that students who enrolled for the course had been short-changed although it was supposed to be a government initiative.

Leong alleged that the company, Despark Auto (Penang) Sdn Bhd, was not registered as a company with the Department of Skills Development when his son enrolled for level one studies in motor mechanics.

Leong said his son Wai Liang was supposed to commence his course on March 31, 2008, as stated in a receipt provided to theantdaily.

“However, MOHR had two mysterious student registration dates on Jan 1 and Jan 8, 2008, in its records. How could it be possible for someone to start a course on a day declared as a public holiday?” he asked.

“MOHR specifies the minimum duration of the course is 24 months or 2,400 hours. Level one and level two are six months each and level three is 12 months but Despark conducted the course in eight months. On The Job Training (OJT) is not in MOHR’s specification.

“Level one portfolio was backdated to Jan 14, 2008 to March 28 and Level three portfolio was post-dated to Dec 2, 2008 to Nov 23, 2009,” Leong explained.

He said Despark had short-changed the students by backdating the dates three months before enrolment and post-dating it 12 months after the completion of the course in their level three portfolios.

“The dates were framed to look like a 24-month programme despite the fact that the requirement by the National Occupational Skills Standard (NOSS) is 24 months but completed in eight months.”

“What’s happening? Can we have some clarification from MOHR?” Leong asked, adding “we are supposed to provide quality training so that Malaysia’s workforce is of unquestionable skills”.

The frustrated Leong has been trying to get the ministry to be transparent and clarify matters but all the MOHR would say was that it did not do any wrong under Act 652.

Leong said for students at level one, two and three, examinations were conducted on Aug 8, July 9 and Jan 10 respectively.

“The examinations should have been conducted at the end of each Level, in July 2008, October 2008 and December 2008 respectively. It is a requirement to complete and pass a lower level before going to the next level.”

Leong also said that he had sent two letters to its minister Datuk Richard Riot Jaem on May 28 and June 26 last year and made four police reports but “there don’t seem to be any development”.

Leong had also lodged complaints with the Tribunal for Consumer Claims Malaysia regarding the SKM course conducted by Despark.

The defence team at the Tribunal in their defence stated the action taken by eight individuals, all students pursuing the SKM course under Despark, was frivolous and an abuse of law.

However, the tribunal advised Leong to take the matter to the civil court. Leong has been sued for defamation after hitting out at MOHR through his Facebook page.

He was slapped with a court injunction after his team of lawyers failed to prove allegations of corruption against the ministry.

Leong had paid RM24,380 for the SKM and City and Guilds diploma course and has been fighting for his rights to get MOHR to be transparent on the matter.

“It is a public interest issue. I do not want Malaysians to be short-changed in skills training. I will continue to pursue the matter through the legal process,” he added.

Leong is seeking for answers as to how Despark could start running the courses before getting accreditation.