PM: Tabung Haji assets being sold due to under-utilisation

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad arrives for the launch of the National Anti-Drug Month in Putrajaya, February 18, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad arrives for the launch of the National Anti-Drug Month in Putrajaya, February 18, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 18 — Muslim pilgrimage fund Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) is liquidating some assets as these were not being fully used, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

He added that these assets were also not generating sufficient returns to justify keeping them.

“Therefore Tabung Haji should get out of it. There are other ways of investing the money to gain better returns,” Dr Mahathir said after launching the National Anti-Drug Month 2020 at Dewan De’Seri Endon in Putrajaya.

The prime minister also said TH was subsidising pilgrims this year from the profits that it will generate from its holdings.

“But in the future, we will require that people who save money must save enough so that they can perform the Haj properly,” Dr Mahathir said.

Yesterday, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak shared a TH company circular on his Facebook page that said four of its hotels will be closed and pointedly asked if this meant the fund was facing financial difficulties.

The circular was signed by TH Hotel and Residence Sdn Bhd’s Zulkeffli Ahmad.

The firm is a TH subsidiary that owns and operates the hotels located in Penang, Alor Setar, Terengganu, and Kota Kinabalu.

In the circular, Zulkeffli said the decision to cease operations in April came about after five town-hall sessions with the company management and the management of the four hotels in December last year.

He added that a staff separation scheme would also be implemented by the hotels’ managements as part of the closures.

The government was forced into a bailout of TH last year that will cost an estimated RM17 billion after discovering that the fund had been in deficit owing to financial decisions made during the Barisan Nasional administration.

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