PM: Cabinet to discuss Tabung Haji finances tomorrow

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a press conference at Parliament April 4, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a press conference at Parliament April 4, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — Federal ministers will review the proposal to reorganise Lembaga Tabung Haji’s finances at the weekly Cabinet meeting tomorrow, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told Parliament today.

Answering Datuk Noraini Ahmad (BN-Parit Sulong), Dr Mahathir (PH-Langkawi) said among issues to be raised tomorrow was the fund’s ability to pay out dividends to contributors.

“Tabung Haji will make its announcement after the Cabinet has made a decision,” Dr Mahathir said.

To another question from Datuk Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus (PH-Hulu Langat), the prime minister also said the Cabinet will scrutinise the fund’s financial losses.

Dr Mahathir added that he will only comment on LTH’s sale of assets to a Finance Ministry vehicle after tomorrow’s meeting.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa alleged last year that LTH had paid out dividends unlawfully as it was over RM4 billion in deficit.

The Tabung Haji Act 1995 prohibits the payment of dividends, or hibah as they are called in Islamic financial terms, if LTH is in deficit and has no distributable profits.

The government then created a special purpose vehicle to acquire underperforming LTH properties and equities in exchange for RM10 billion in sukuk and RM9.9 billion in Islamic redeemable convertible preference shares (RCPS-i).