Selangor Journal
Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof speaking at a press conference in Shah Alam on January 17, 2024. — Picture by HAFIZ OTHMAN/SELANGORKINI

No more misappropriation of zakat funds, warns Mais

By Sheeda Fathil

SHAH ALAM, Jan 17 — The Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) has vowed not to allow any misappropriation of zakat funds that are contributed to the state’s religious agency responsible for collecting tithes. 

Its chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof warned that stern action will be taken against any individual found committing the offence, acknowledging that there have been previous such cases in Selangor. 

He said it is incumbent on the agency in charge of zakat management to provide confidence to contributors that their money will be properly handled, without abusing a single sen.

“The media have reported of a huge amount of zakat funds being misappropriated by a state Islamic religious council, and there have been cases in Selangor too, but not many.

“We don’t want a repeat of this. We will act against anyone involved and I would like to warn that such acts must never happen under Selangor’s religious institutions,” he told a press conference, here, today.

He said this after delivering his 2024 mandate to Mais staff and launching the council’s anti-corruption plan 2024-2026 at the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque. 

Aziz stressed the importance of agencies under Mais to possess the highest integrity and trustworthiness, particularly considering they are responsible for managing contributions from the public. 

“Sometimes, these contributions are in the form of cash. If we are not honest, we may lose our way and abuse (the funds) either partially or fully, for personal gain. 

“Even if it’s just a single cent, and be it for charity, zakat, endowment, or other forms of contribution for orphans or natural disasters, we must account for the funds properly and not abuse them,” he said.

Earlier this month, the media had reported that a married couple had been arrested on suspicion of misappropriating RM9.62 million in tithe collection to the Perak Islamic Religious and Malay Customs Council (MAIPk).

The 50-year-old man and his 53-year-old wife were appointed by MAIPk as its zakat collection agents. 

Perak police chief Datuk Seri Mohd Yusri Hassan Basri said the case was being investigated under Section 409 of the Penal Code for criminal breach of trust. The couple was released on bond on Monday. 

Selangor Islamic Religious Council chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof presenting a  contribution at the launch of the Selangor Islamic Religious Council Anti-Corruption Plan at the State Mosque in Shah Alam on January 17, 2024. — Picture by HAFIZ OTHMAN/SELANGORKINI

Anti-graft mission

Earlier in his speech, Aziz said Mais’ anti-corruption plan will focus on five main areas, namely administrative management, procurement, projects, distribution, and contributions to Baitulmal. 

He said the plan will also involve mosques, surau and religious schools in the state. 

“I urge everyone to comply with this plan to ensure Islamic religious institutions in Selangor remain efficient, transparent, and full of integrity.

“I also want to stress the importance of enhancing audit processes, as well as internal and external risks, to ensure the credibility and integrity of the organisation.” 

At the event, Mais also presented contributions of RM300,000 to Universiti Islam Selangor, RM100,000 to Maahad Tahfiz Islam Selangor Alam Impian, RM98,423 to Tabung Infaq Jariah Umat Islam Selangor, RM50,000 to Selangor Mufti Department, RM50,000 to Selangor Syariah Prosecution Department, and RM10,000 each to Sekolah Agama Menengah Parit Baru’s Parent-Teacher Association and Sekolah Rendah Agama An-Nur Kanchong Tengah.

 

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Editor Selangor Journal