Mujahid: Azeez, Umno stoking racial hatred by implicating Guan Eng as ‘culprit’ who destroyed Tabung Haji
Friday, 14 Aug 2020 11:11 PM MYT
BY R. LOHESWAR
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — Parit Buntar MP Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa has slammed former Tabung Haji chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Rahim for turning the Muslim pilgrimage fund’s mismanagement debacle into a racial matter.
In a dialogue between the two held by Sinar Harian tonight, Mujahid took issue with the Umno Baling MP for blaming former finance minister Lim Guan Eng for purportedly interfering in TH’s financial affairs during Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) 22-month administration.
“These are all lies by Azeez to fool you,” said Mujahid, who was formerly minister in charge of religious affairs.
“He wants the narrative to be that Lim being a Chinese is taking over the TH as he is signing off on the documents.”
Azeez has been claiming that TH under the PH administration had sold four of the fund’s hotels to a company, Urusharta Jemaah Sdn Bhd (UJSB) and the undertaking was signed by Lim as finance minister.
Azeez also claimed there was no government guarantees under the PH government for TH shares.
Mujahid explained that the hotels and other assets were sold as they were not making a profit — with the four hotels making only 1.7 per cent in profits and bleeding TH funds.
He added that there were three ministries involved in restructuring TH’s finances which were the Prime Minister’s Office, Economic Affairs Ministry and the Finance Ministry.
“Not surprisingly, Azeez never brought up Datuk Seri Azmin Ali’s name, who was economic affairs minister who was also involved in TH affairs. Not to mention the prime minister’s offices.
“Why? Because both are Malay-Muslims while Lim is a Chinese so let’s blame him right?
“Let me remind everyone that Lim wasn’t the one who made the final decision, it’s the Cabinet which the majority of are Malay-Muslims. So stop these political games,” he added.
Last month, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said in a written Parliamentary reply yesterday that assets of Lembaga Tabung Haji have not been sold off to non-Muslim companies and the fund is not being controlled by non-Muslims.
In Muhyiddin’s reply to Mujahid, he added that in line with the Recovery and Restructuring Plan, uncompetitive Tabung Haji’s assets had been transferred to a special purpose vehicle — UJSB — under Ministry of Finance Incorporated.
The government was forced into a bailout of TH last year that will cost an estimated RM17 billion after discovering that the fund had been in deficit, owing to financial decisions made during the Barisan Nasional administration.
Friday, 14 Aug 2020 11:39 PM MYT
BY R. LOHESWAR
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — Former Tabung Haji (TH) chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Rahim broke the law when he admitted to accepting money from Umno to put into the Muslim pilgrimage fund’s foundation when he was chairman, Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa said.
During a live debate held by Sinar Harian tonight, Azeez was answering a question regarding the several police reports against him for bribes and foreign money exchange as well as the police report made by TH management against Azeez for using TH money for his political party’s affairs in 2017.
Azeez said that every year TH would provide zakat, or alms, to the needy but a drop in palm oil and rubber prices in 2017 meant this was hard to do.
That’s when Azeez said he received RM7 million from Umno to be put in Yayasan Tabung Haji to give to the poor during Ramadan.
“That’s the fundamental problem here. My learned friend here is saying he received money from Umno to be put in Yayasan Tabung Haji. He cannot do that.
“I want to let everyone here know that Yayasan cannot take money from political parties and he just admitted that he has taken RM7 million. They are not allowed to take donations so thank you for confirming this,” said Mujahid.
“There are police reports against Azeez for misrepresenting the real financial accounts of TH. This is real and it depends on the current government if they will prosecute him or not.”
Mujahid and Azeez have been going back and forth in Parliament regarding TH’s finances.
Azeez and Umno, especially its Youth chief and former deputy minister in charge of the Haj fund Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, have raised the Tabung Haji issue both inside and outside of Parliament several times.
Among their claims is that TH under Mujahid had sold four of the fund’s hotels to a company, Urusharta Jemaah Sdn Bhd (UJSB), which also led to more than 600 employees losing their jobs in 2019.
Mujahid had in February this year clarified that it was untrue that the buildings were put up for sale, as they were part of TH’s assets transferred to special government vehicle UJSB, under the Finance Ministry.