The proposed royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into the finances of Tabung Haji should take into account a warning issued by Bank Negara three years ago, according to Khairy Jamaluddin.
The Rembau MP, in a series of tweets today, said the probe should also consider details of the two audits on Tabung Haji by two different auditing firms, namely Ernst & Young (E&Y) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
“In the Tabung Haji issue, there are two conflicting audit reports. One is the one prepared by E&Y and verified by the National Audit Department and used by the old (Tabung Haji) management. Another (report) was prepared by PwC, which was appointed after May 9.
“There are allegations that the E&Y report is inaccurate and used creative accounting so that dividends could be paid out, whereas the PwC report states the real financial status that says (Tabung Haji) cannot afford to pay dividends,” he said.
“Both E&Y and PWC are among the world’s biggest audit firms. Who’s wrong and who’s right?” he said, expressing his support for the call from Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan and vice-president Mohamed Khaled Nordin for the establishment of an RCI.
“Only then, we can have a certainty and the truth which is being drowned by allegations on social media.
“The probe can take into account all facts including the warning issued by Bank Negara several years ago. I hope we can refer this matter for an independent probe which will report back to Parliament in three months,” he added.
This was in reference to a warning letter issued by then-Bank Negara governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz on Dec 23, 2015, to the then de facto Islamic affairs minister Jamil Khir Baharom.
The letter stated that the pilgrimage fund was paying out dividends and bonuses using its reserves since 2012, and that its dwindling reserves and assets were not sufficient to meet its financial obligations.
The warning, however, was said to have been downplayed by the leadership at the time.
Earlier today, Khaled backed the call made by Mohamad for an RCI to be established so that the “real truth” could be exposed in the matter.
This followed de facto Islamic Affairs Minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa’s revelation that Tabung Haji recorded assets of RM70.3 billion up until Dec 2017, but liabilities of RM74.4 billion, representing a deficit of RM4.1 billion.
Mujahid also revealed that as part of its restructuring plan, Tabung Haji will be put under Bank Negara’s supervision effective Jan 1, 2019, to win back depositors’ trust.
Despite reports of Tabung Haji being in dire straits, a PAS lawmaker today claimed that the deficit issue could be a Pakatan Harapan “play on figures.”
Kuala Nerus MP Khairuddin Aman Razali claimed the government was using the issue as an excuse to cover up its inability to match past dividends issued by Tabung Haji. – Malaysiakini