KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 — The Tabung Haji (TH) mismanagement debacle flared up again in the Dewan Rakyat today as its former chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Rahim (Baling-BN) took the floor to debate the King’s Speech.
Azeez used his time to ask once more for a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to investigate allegations of misconduct by TH’s previous management under Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa (Parit Buntar-PH) as well the allegations that were made against him during the Pakatan Harapan administration.
“I want to suggest that the Perikatan National government set up an RCI to investigate the scandal and determine the truth.
“If the RCI is set up, I offer myself as the first person to be investigated to prove what really happened in Tabung Haji,” he told Parliament.
Abdul Azeez also accused Mujahid, who was the minister in charge of the pilgrim fund during the PH administration, of having evil intentions by publishing a photo of him handcuffed to smear his name on the latter’s Facebook page over the issue.
He said that for far too long, he has been accused of stealing from TH that resulted in both him and his family being investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
“I was accused of being a thief or stealing from Tabung Haji from the other side.
“When I was in charge, Tabung Haji never failed to table its financial report and audit report by the National Audit Department.
“If they are full of integrity, where are their financial reports for 2018 and 2019?” he said while motioning to the Opposition block and placing TH’s financial reports from 2014 to 2017 on his table.
Abdul Azeez and Mujahid clashed on this same issue in Parliament last week.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (Langkawi-Independent) then tried to chime in on his speech, saying that Abdul Azeez’s statement on the issue should not be done in Parliament as no one could answer it but was shut down by the latter.
“The fact is I was never accused in the court for Tabung Haji. You can google it now.
“In the 22 months (of PH), I was never accused in court for it,” he said.
Abdul Azeez then traded jibes with Maszlee Malik (Simpang Renggam-Independent) who he let chime in but wanted to give his place to Dr Mahathir.
“Dr Mahathir said the previous (BN) government called the authorities to investigate him. Well, Langkawi (Dr Mahathir) did the same to me.
“SPRM (MACC) came to my house and froze my mother’s bank account. Until now, my children did not have access to their accounts. During fasting month, they came to my house at 11am and did not leave until sahur (pre-dawn meals) the next morning,” he said.
Azeez and Umno, especially their Youth chief and former deputy minister in charge of the Haj fund Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, have raised the Tabung Haji issue both inside and outside of Parliament several times.
Among their claims is that TH under Mujahid had sold four of the fund’s hotels to a company, Urusharta Jemaah Sdn Bhd (UJSB), which also led to more than 600 employees losing their job in 2019.
Mujahid in February this year clarified that it was untrue that the buildings were put up for sale, as they were part of Tabung Haji’s assets transferred to special government vehicle UJSB, under the Finance Ministry.
He also said the hotels will continue to be operational under UJSB and most of its 278 staff would be retained.
Yesterday, in an interview with Parti Amanah Negara’s Malaysia Dateline, Mujahid invited Azeez to debate the agency’s issues and all the allegations levelled against him during the PH administration.
“I have no problem inviting the former chairman of Tabung Haji, Abdul Azeez, to debate. When I spoke in Parliament, he was troubled and wanted to defend his argument, so let’s debate.
“I want to debate with him. We present what is alleged. He said there are facts.
“We reveal peacefully, amicably, civilly and we leave it to the people to evaluate,” he said as reported by his party’s official media.