KUCHING: Is the Tabung Baitulmal Sarawak (TBS), a charitable body, being politically selective with its aid to disadvantaged Muslims in the state, or is it simply cutting back to support the cost and maintenance payments for its recently opened multi-million ringgit Sarawak Islamic Complex here?
According to Sarawak DAP official Abdul Aziz Isa, several poor Muslims had approached him seeking his assistance to convince TBS to provide them with aid.
Aziz said many of these Muslims had their request for aid declined by TBS while others complained that their welfare allocations had been reduced considerably.
“Baitulmal (TBS) is supposed to help poor Muslims and not spending money on a grand complex.
“Last year alone, Baitulmal disbursed assistance worth RM36.4 million, but this is a lot less than the amount spent on the new complex,” said Aziz who is the special assistant to Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen. Chong is also Sarawak DAP chairman.
Aziz said he had asked for TBS’s financial reports for the last 10 years through a letter three weeks ago but yet to receive a response.
Aziz, who has been the butt of scathing remarks from pro-BN bloggers following his appointment as Chong’s special assistant, was speaking to reporters during the opening of DAP’s Tupong service centre.
One pro-BN blog called Aziz a stooge and that it was DAP’s ‘long-planned’ move to appoint Aziz to manage the Tupong service centre as it was the party’s ‘hidden agenda’ to penetrate the Malay-majority BN stronghold.
Through Aziz, they alleged, DAP would use religious issues as their ‘weapon’.
DAP’s ‘We Help’
Tupong’s assemblyman is BN’s Daud Abdul Rahman,. He is from Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) party and is the assistant minister in charge of Islamic affairs.
Daud won against PKR candidates in the 2006 and 2011 Sarawak state elections. He beat Ramlee Mahtar with a 4,572-vote majority, and Baharuddin Shah Mokhsen with 4,551-votes majority respectively.
Meanwhile Aziz, 24, a Universiti Malaysia Sarawak graduate majoring in politics and government, said the many underprivileged Muslims requiring welfare assistance would benefit from the DAP Tupong service centre.
He said todate the centre’s pilot project ‘We Help’ programme had identified and assisted 104 recipients within the Tupong constituency and would reach out to more individuals very soon.
DAP Tupong’s ‘We Help’ programme is an acronym for welfare (We), health, education, labour and pension (HELP).