RCI set up to probe Tabung Haji issues

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Putrajaya has formed a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to probe management and operation issues faced by Tabung Haji from 2014 to 2020.

In a statement, deputy prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the scope of the RCI would focus on findings by auditors from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Ernst & Young (EY) and Roland Berger in that six-year span.

He added that the RCI would determine whether there were any cover-ups over these issues.

The Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration had promised to set up an RCI into the matter previously, although this never materialised.

The commission will also recommend appropriate action be taken against those found to have breached the law whether directly or indirectly, without affecting any ongoing legal action by the authorities.

A report will also be given to the government with follow-up action recommendations, if necessary, within three months.

However, Ismail said the RCI’s scope will not include TH’s recovery and restructuring plan which is currently being implemented.

“The prime minister’s department will identify the members of the RCI, which is likely to comprise experts in shariah law, legislation, Islamic banking and investment.

“This RCI is necessary for further investigation into matters that have been raised and to restore TH’s image and the people’s confidence in the pilgrim fund.

“This is also to ensure a transparent and trustworthy internal investigation, to guarantee that TH can perform its mandate professionally when managing the deposits of Muslims,” he said.

Last December, religious affairs minister Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri said Putrajaya was refining a proposal to set up an RCI into claims of misconduct and irregularities involving TH.

Umno Youth previously urged the Perikatan Nasional-led (PN) government to set up an RCI, saying this would show whether the accusations made by the previous government were true. This was also backed by former TH chairman Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim.

In the run-up to the last general election (GE14), there had been calls for an RCI into alleged scandals involving the fund. Azeez was TH chairman from 2013 to 2018. – FMT