PETALING JAYA: A lawyer has urged Putrajaya to look into the possible abuse of power and corruption in other federal-linked religious bodies as well, following reports that funds belonging to a government-linked Islamic body were frozen after an internal audit.
Syed Iskandar Syed Jaaafar Al Mahdzar said minister in charge of Islamic affairs Mujahid Yusof Rawa should also investigate the activities of the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), the Da’wah Foundation Malaysia (Yadim), Malaysian Economic Development Foundation Malaysia (Yapeim) and the Shariah Judiciary Department of Malaysia.
“There is a wastage of public resources due to abuse of power and corruption. Even the conduct of the Shariah Court judges should be looked into,” he told FMT.
His remarks followed reports that funds belonging to the Malaysian Islamic Strategic Research Institute (Iksim) were frozen after an internal audit revealed possible abuse of power and misuse of funds.
Mujahid said the audit revealed that Iksim had received RM7.6 million but only RM200,000 was accounted for.
He added that Iksim had been funded by the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP).
“However, MAIWP has stopped funding it further despite its earlier pledge to do so.”
Syed Iskandar said Putrajaya through Jakim and MAIWP had channelled funds to Islamic organisations to help poor and needy Muslims. However, he claimed only a select few had benefitted from this.
He said even shariah judges had committed professional misconduct by openly campaigning for Barisan Nasional and Mujahid’s predecessor, Jamil Khir Baharom, in the recent general election.
“The evidence is readily available. The Pakatan Harapan government should look into this matter.”
He also alleged that Iksim was formed two years ago as a company to promote former prime minister Najib Razak as an Islamic leader, and to portray then-opposition parties like PKR and DAP as anti-Islam.
“Funds from MAIWP were channelled to Iksim to carry out the agenda of those in power,” he said, adding that such conduct had led to Islam being portrayed in a negative light.
Syed Iskandar also called on Mujahid to engage with muftis and to seek their assistance to foster a better understanding of Islam among both Muslims and non-Muslims.