KUALA LUMPUR: Religious affairs minister Na’im Mokhtar has confirmed that Muslims in the T20 income group will not receive any subsidy from Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) to perform the haj.
He said the group, which refers to the top 20% of the population in terms of household income, is required to pay the full unsubsidised price to go on the pilgrimage.
“So, there is no issue of the T20 group receiving the (haj pilgrimage) subsidy,” he said at a press conference following a charity programme at the Sri Kota public housing programme in Bandar Tun Razak today.
According to Na’im, some 400 people from the B40 group had even rejected the pilgrimage subsidy last year as they believed other people were more deserving of it.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said it was important for the government to restructure its subsidies to ensure target groups such as the B40 will benefit.
He said he was opposed to providing subsidies that the rich were evidently benefitting from, and cited the subsidised rates for the haj pilgrimage under Tabung Haji as an example.
Anwar had announced in May that the government would no longer subsidise Muslims from the T20 income group performing the haj.
In a parliamentary reply to opposition leader Hamzah Zainudin, he said the subsidy will be reserved for those in the M40 and B40 groups.
Na’im also said he will be meeting with Ipoh Timur MP Howard Lee tonight over the Quran interpretation controversy involving the DAP central executive committee member.
He said he would seek Lee’s explanation at the meeting.
“We will discuss (the controversy) and also use the opportunity to explain our position on this matter in Islam, in relation to the Quran,” Na’im said.
On Friday, the religious affairs minister said he would meet Lee after the Pakatan Harapan MP was accused of giving his own interpretation of a Quranic verse in a video that went viral last week.
Lee, who is being investigated by the police, apologised for his actions last week and denied giving his own interpretation of a verse from the Quran as alleged.
Instead, the former DAP Youth chief said he had only cited a particular verse in the video clip.