FORMER Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak urged the Government to establish a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to investigate any irregularities at Tabung Haji (TH) first, before parking it under Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) purview.
“TH’s model has worked well for decades and not everything financial institution is a bank.
“I suggest our Finance Minister postpones the decision pending a RCI on the matter. Besides, he should be focused on his new task as the coordinating minister for the National Recovery Plan (NRP) for now,” he said, in a Facebook post.
Three days ago, Finance Ministry announced that TH will now come under BNM’s purview, as per Section 223 of the Islamic Financial Services Act 2013.
TH was riddled with financial issues for years, with its former chairperson Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim being hauled up to court on three corruption charges, in addition to 10 other charges of money laundering.
Yesterday, Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and former Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Datuk A Kadir Jasin voiced out against the move, arguing that placing TH under BNM’s purview would cloud the institution’s founding purpose.
“TH will lose its autonomy in handling pilgrims’ affairs. It will also have to compete with other financial institutions to get better deposits, not for the sake of hajj affairs,” Kadir was reported saying.
Echoing the duo sentiments, Najib said that too control over TH would render the latter having lesser say in managing its investments and return on investments (ROI).
“TH is not a bank as it was established for other purpose. It was set up for two reasons; one is to ease the process for Hajj pilgrims and strengthen Muslims’ economy.
“It does not dish out loans or charge any form of interest to anyone,” he mentioned. – July 19, 2021.