Rosmah Mansor was slated to receive the ‘Lead by Example’ award in New York on Thursday with regard to her brainchild Permata.
However, she was struck off the list at the eleventh hour.
And a pro-Umno portal has blamed this on sabotage by those who do not want to see Malaysia or Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s wife be conferred the accolade.
MyKMU.net said the international advisory panel committee was forced to remove Permata from the list after questions were raised about its funding.
The committee, it pointed out, had no knowledge of any wrongdoing but at the same time, was had pressed for time and could not check Permata with regard to its funding.
“The media, especially the Western media, attempted to imply that the funding for Permata came from unverified channels, when the fact is Permata receives funding from the government under the Prime Minister’s Department,” it said.
The portal also provided a breakdown of the funding for Permata since 2013:
2013: RM20.59 million
2014: RM32.39 million
2015: RM34.46 million
2016: RM36.34 million
The funds, said MyKMU, allocated in the government’s annual budget were used to pay the salaries of staff, for services, purchasing of supplies and assets.
“So it is wrong to claim that Permata’s funding cannot be verified because government documents on the expenditure and other details have been tabled, are available in the public domain and can be accessed,” it added.
Therefore, the portal said it was not proper for certain quarters to launch baseless attacks against Rosmah and Permata.
The Permata programme, it noted, has brought much benefit for children, teenagers and children with disabilities as well as bright students.
“Certain quarters might find Rosmah’s exclusion from the award list as a victory or hilarious.
“The fact is, it is a loss for the nation and a victory for those who deliberately want to sabotage Malaysia as well as Permata,” it added.
Yesterday, Malaysiakini reported Professor Tudor Parfitt, who chairs the international academic advisory panel for the event, as stating that Permata was recommended because its programmes received recognition as they were seen to represent a model for potential imitation in other countries with diverse populations.
However, he said following inaccurate leaks of the committee’s recommendations, the organisation had been quizzed by the media about the sources of funding for Permata.
He said as academics, the organisation had no immediate means of verifying funding for Permata, and was not aware of any specific wrongdoing.
“However, we do not wish this important event to be dominated by anything other than the issue of how to mobilise and unite people in the fight against violent extremism.
“The committee therefore decided it requires more time to review the comments that have been received, and has removed Permata from the list of Thursday’s honourees,” he added.