Thursday, October 28, 2010

Can You Trust The Men In Turbans?

Hantu Laut

If the MACC care to investigate all the Religious Councils in this country Muslims would be in a big shock how and where some of their zakat and fitrah money go to.

In Sabah, the money are collected by MUIS and there have been cases in the past where usage of the money were abused in the form of false claims and corruptions.Since than there have not been a look-in at MUIS.As the Malay proverb say "Jangan sangka tak ada buaya di air tenang", you wouldn't know better until curiosity open the Pandora's box.

If you believe that all men in turbans are god-fearing you might as well believe in the Grand Vizier of Baghdad. Remember the story "The Thief of Baghdad"

Here's something from my favourite ulamak.


Asri: 'Ghosts' in religious councils are robbing zakat from poor

KUALA LUMPUR - The revelation by the Auditor-General's Department that the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) had wanted to dispose 70 air conditioner units despite their working condition has left former Perlis Mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin wondering about the state of the country's religious institutions.

"The parties involved must provide an explanation as to how far this is true," said Asri (pic) in a blog posting.

The recently-released report by the Auditor-General criticised MAIWP for its plan last year to scrap seventy air conditioning units acquired in 2007 and 2008 despite not being listed in the evaluation board's report.

It further noted that office equipments worth RM135,265 were simply abandoned at its old premise in Wisma Baitulmal when moving its headquarters to the Perkim building in February 2008.

The report also said 21 units of computers and cameras worth RM45,789 and three motorcycles belonging to the department had been 'lost'. Petrol claims for its fleet of vehicles were also suspicious, it added.

'More zakat, more poverty'

Saying he had always been suspicious about the state of financial management involving Islamic institutions in the country, Asri said he felt compelled to highlight the issue although it could rile up many quarters.

“Why not? When billions collected from zakat and others have been allocated for Muslims, we are still faced with a depressing situation whereby there are families who live under bridges in Kuala Lumpur," said Asri, referring to a recent television exposure about homeless families in the capital.

"Who's that ghost cheating and robbing us of our zakat revenue so that those deserving do not get it? Whose hands could it be? Is it the gnome in the jungle or the men in turban?” asked Asri in some of his harshest comments yet against the authorities.

Saying zakat collection had grown in tandem with rising poverty, Asri called for a revamp of the zakat institution, and urged a proper forum to discuss transparency and proper management of zakat fund.

He questioned whether those entrusted to manage the funds were honest and serious in their job, or were simply siphoning off zakat money on the argument that they were part of the asnaf (those among the eight groups of people deserving help through zakat).

'Tip of iceberg'

Asri said the exposure by the Auditor-General was only the tip of the icerberg, adding that the state of financial management in other states remained concealed.

“But we do know for a fact that poverty exists in every state, and PPZ's (Zakat Collection Centre) wealth in each state is glaring," he said.

Asri said the situation only further eroded Muslims' confidence in the integrity of Islamic institutions, which he warned would make them think twice before entrusting these bodies to manage their religious affairs.

“It's all inter-linked: the interests of politics, the palace, individuals and many others. A total reform can be a solution to turn things around," he stressed, and said only a clean, honest and transparent government could ensure such a transformation.

Zakat is calculated annually and is one of the five pillars of Islam, mentioned repeatedly in the Qur'an alongside such obligations as prayer and fasting. An adult Muslim who fulfils several criteria, among which is owning a certain amount of unused wealth within a span of one year, must set aside 2.5% of such wealth as zakat to help the less fortunate groups in the society.Malaysia Chronicle

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