Government-linked Islamic body cries foul after funds frozen

Religious affairs minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa says the government has no plans to continue allowing Iksim to operate since there is no transparency in its financial management. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Islamic Strategic Research Institute (Iksim) has denounced federal minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa’s allegations of possible abuse of power and misuse of funds in the government-linked body.

In a statement, Iksim also said the remarks by the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department were based on a “half-baked” audit by an audit team from the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP), which it claimed didn’t have “qualified auditors”.

Yesterday, Mujahid, who is the minister in charge of Islamic affairs, revealed that Iksim’s funds had been frozen with immediate effect after an internal audit revealed possible abuse of power and misuse of funds.

“If we look at Iksim’s internal audit, it received RM7.6 million,” Mujahid said at the Parliament lobby yesterday.

He said from this amount, it only had records on how RM200,000 had been spent and there was no proof of what the remaining RM7.4 million was spent on.

Iksim said it had given its full cooperation to MAIWP’s internal auditors from the very beginning and was still waiting for an “exit conference” which MAIWP had postponed three times after Iksim answered the auditing team’s questions.

“We urge all parties to hold firm to proper work ethics and not to ignore procedures by making all sorts of claims before the auditing process is complete.”

Iksim also said the issue of the RM7.4 million stemmed from the different accounting procedures used by Iksim and MAIWP, adding that it had detailed records of its expenditure which could be verified within minutes.

It added that Iksim wasn’t a subsidiary of MAIWP and had been audited by qualified auditors since it was established.

“We would like to remind all parties that Mujahid’s remarks and allegations based on the half-baked audit was made outside the Dewan Rakyat and wasn’t protected by parliamentary immunity.

“So, whoever expands on the matter could face legal action.”

Yesterday, Mujahid, who is Parit Buntar MP, said the government had no plans to continue allowing Iksim to operate since there was no transparency in its financial management.

Govt-linked Islamic body’s funds frozen