KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — Parit Buntar MP Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa has slammed former Tabung Haji chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Rahim for turning the Muslim pilgrimage fund’s mismanagement debacle into a racial matter.
In a dialogue between the two held by Sinar Harian tonight, Mujahid took issue with the Umno Baling MP for blaming former finance minister Lim Guan Eng for purportedly interfering in TH’s financial affairs during Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) 22-month administration.
“These are all lies by Azeez to fool you,” said Mujahid, who was formerly minister in charge of religious affairs.
“He wants the narrative to be that Lim being a Chinese is taking over the TH as he is signing off on the documents.”
Azeez has been claiming that TH under the PH administration had sold four of the fund’s hotels to a company, Urusharta Jemaah Sdn Bhd (UJSB) and the undertaking was signed by Lim as finance minister.
Azeez also claimed there was no government guarantees under the PH government for TH shares.
Mujahid explained that the hotels and other assets were sold as they were not making a profit — with the four hotels making only 1.7 per cent in profits and bleeding TH funds.
He added that there were three ministries involved in restructuring TH’s finances which were the Prime Minister’s Office, Economic Affairs Ministry and the Finance Ministry.
“Not surprisingly, Azeez never brought up Datuk Seri Azmin Ali’s name, who was economic affairs minister who was also involved in TH affairs. Not to mention the prime minister’s offices.
“Why? Because both are Malay-Muslims while Lim is a Chinese so let’s blame him right?
“Let me remind everyone that Lim wasn’t the one who made the final decision, it’s the Cabinet which the majority of are Malay-Muslims. So stop these political games,” he added.
Last month, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said in a written Parliamentary reply yesterday that assets of Lembaga Tabung Haji have not been sold off to non-Muslim companies and the fund is not being controlled by non-Muslims.
In Muhyiddin’s reply to Mujahid, he added that in line with the Recovery and Restructuring Plan, uncompetitive Tabung Haji’s assets had been transferred to a special purpose vehicle — UJSB — under Ministry of Finance Incorporated.
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.