Mohd Redzuan: Mara’s fate yet to be finalised

This is despite some ministries claiming that that it will be put under their jurisdiction

By AFIQ AZIZ / Pic By BERNAMA

THE Cabinet has not made any decision on the ministry that will take full charge of Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara).

Entrepreneur Development Minister Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof (picture) said the decision to place the 52-year-old agency that comprises education, investment and entrepreneurs’ development will only be decided at the Cabinet meeting, as early as today.

“I wish to clarify that there is no decision yet on Mara, despite some ministries claiming that that it will be put under their jurisdiction,” he told reporters after chairing the first Consultative Council for Entrepreneurs and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Putrajaya yesterday.

Mohd Redzuan said as for now, his Ministry of Entrepreneur Development (MED) has clearly justified its function wich has allowed it to regain most of the agencies previously placed under its purview.“The Cabinet will also announce all the final agencies that will lie under this ministry’s jurisdiction soon — latest by next week, or the week after,” he said.

He said MED is ready to move on without Mara’s participation under its wings. Mara was among the 16 agencies placed under eight different ministries after the Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Ministry was dissolved in 2009 by the previous Barisan Nasional government.

Since then, Mara had been placed under the rural development minister’s purview.

MED was recently re-introduced by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad without naming the agencies that will be parked within its jurisdiction.

Mara, seen as an agency focused on Bumiputera entrepreneurs’ agenda, was shot into the limelight lately — especially after several controversial revelations on its business dealings that took place during the reign of the previous regime.

Some quarters suggested that Mara’s divisions should be segregated according to the objectives and roles to be parked under MED, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MEA) and the Education Ministry.

Earlier this week, MEA Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali had guaranteed that Mara will be intact as one entity, and it will be put under his ministry.

Bumiputera Economic Action Council CEO Ahmad Yazid Othman had also proposed all Bumiputera economic and business strategic agencies, including Mara, to be empowered under a single ministry of MEA to improve its planning in the quest to strengthen the Bumiputera economy.

Mohd Redzuan, who visited Mara last month for a briefing, concurred with the view that Mara’s functions should remain as a single body, as outlined by the Mara Act 1966.

“As long as the agency is placed as one entity under whichever ministry and upholds the existing Act, I don’t see any problem with that,” Mohd Redzuan said.

At the first Consultative Council for Entrepreneurs and SMEs, which was established on July 18, Mohd Redzuan said the committee is expected to study new policies to boost SMEs and local entrepreneurs’ development so they will be more competitive in the market.

“It will also ensure that the policy will spur the bottom 40%, middle 40% and social entrepreneurs,” Mohd Redzuan said.

He said one of the key areas that the council will study is the improvement of the entrepreneurs’ discipline, especially on loan repayment issues.

“The committee will also advise us on inputs that justify our application for Budget 2019 this year,” he said.

The council comprises 13 business players including Pantai Bharu Group of Cos CEO Datuk Shamsuddin Nor, Ingress Corp Bhd ED Datuk Dr Abdul Wahab Ismail and Al-Ikhsan founder Ali Hassan Mohd Hassan.