Deputy minister: Tabung Haji may carve out pilgrimage savers from pure investors

Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh is pictured in Parliament October 16, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh is pictured in Parliament October 16, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 — Lembaga Tabung Haji is studying separate categories for contributors that will segregate them by aim, said Fuziah Salleh.

The deputy minister in charge of Islamic affairs told the Dewan Rakyat today that the study is being conducted as those saving for their Haj pilgrimage have different financial needs than those investing generally.

“I was made to understand that moving forward, Tabung Haji is looking at creating two different deposit categories.

“This is being studied by Tabung Haji because there are depositors who save up in order to perform their Haj has different needs when compared to those who deposit as an investment.

“Therefore, we must balance the two and ensure that both parties obtain their goals when they deposit in Tabung Haji. We will look at the best practices to balance the two,” said Fuziah who was replying to an additional question by Rompin MP (BN) Datuk Seri Hasan Arifin during Question Time.

It was reported last year that Tabung Haji was at risk of mass withdrawals after its Recovery and Restructuring Working Plan showed that 1.3 per cent of depositors accounted for half its deposits.

One single depositor was also found to have RM190 million in the fund.

Deposits in the pilgrims’ fund had been attractive due to the high rate of dividends it previously paid out that far outstripped fixed deposit rates offered at commercial banks.

Earlier, Fuziah told the Lower House that Tabung Haji is now in a better and stronger financial position in comparison to last year.

In the first half of 2019, it generated RM1.3 billion, mainly from its fixed deposit income investments at RM663 million, real estate investment at RM292 million and Islamic financial instruments worth RM199 million.

Its net profit increased to RM815 million on the back of continuous cost saving measures, she said.

“As of June 2019, Tabung Haji’s financial position remains strong when its assets are valued above its liabilities by RM1.8 billion.

“Its total assets stands at RM74 billion and its liability is at RM72.2 billion in comparison to 31 December 2018 where its assets stood at RM1 billion when compared to its liabilities.

“Throughout 2019, the value of its domestic equity increased by RM1.12 billion from RM6.36 billion at the end of 2018 to RM7.8 billion up to September 27, 2019,” said Fuziah.

Touching on the fund’s business activities throughout the year, the deputy minister said that Tabung Haji had made RM1.2 billion by selling its assets with a profit of RM61.6 million.

She gave the breakdown that the company made RM803.9 million with a profit of RM27.9 million on the stock market, RM405.3 million with a profit of RM25.3 million through the sale of its financial instruments and RM10.4 million with a profit of RM7.9 million in real estate.

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