PUTRAJAYA | The Social Security Organisation (Socso) and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) have managed to prevent losses of RM426 million in funds under the PenjanaKerjaya hiring incentive programme, deputy human resources minister Mustapha Sakmud said.

He said they managed to stop the amount from being siphoned through false claims by irresponsible employers in an operation dubbed “Ops Hire” conducted since July last year.

Several arrests and prosecutions have been made by MACC since Jan 9, Mustapha told reporters after the handing over of the 2023 Socso welfare grants to institutions and NGOs here today, adding that more cases are pending in court.

He said the ministry would continue to track down employers who had submitted fraudulent claims.

Mustapha also said Socso had improved the criteria for qualification for aid under the PenjanaKerjaya programme to ensure that approval would be given only to those who were qualified.

On Jan 21, MACC investigation division senior director Hishamuddin Hashim said 74 individuals had been arrested and 61 companies investigated under Ops Hire.

As at Jan 19, a total of 27 individuals had been charged in the Special Corruption Court in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Melaka over false claims amounting to RM4.92 million, he said.

A total allocation of RM3.5 billion was channelled by the government for the PenjanaKerjaya programme in the first two phases from June 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, and the recovery phase from June 15, 2021 to Dec 31 this year.