Millions of ringgit in donations from the public to a tahfiz centre were frozen on the orders of the Kuala Lumpur High Court, says Tahfiz Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah Centre principal Mohd Zahid Mahmood.
He said this when commenting on complaints from the next of kin of the victims of a fire who claimed they did not receive “even a sen” from the RM10 million in donations that poured in following the incident at the centre in 2017.
The fire killed 21 students and two teachers.
The next of kin of the victims took legal action against Zahid, his wife and the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council the following year.
Questions have begun to be asked what happened to the RM10 million collected.
Zahid said since the money was frozen by the courts, nobody could touch it.
He said the allegations by the families had caused a lot of people to be prejudiced against him.
“Such statements have tarnished my name,” he told FMT.
Yesterday, Zamzuri Zakaria, the father of a 10-year-old who died in the fire, told FMT he was forced to file the suit with other parents after failing to reach a deal with the tahfiz centre over the donations.
He said he was also upset that he did not receive any apology from the centre.
“From the day my son died until today, he never came to visit. We have never met,” he said.
Zahid explained that following the tragedy, he had organised four tahlil ceremonies attended by representatives from NGOs, government departments as well as private companies that donated money to the next of kin.
“Whatever is in the (bank) account, we leave it to the courts to decide,” he said.
Lawyer Ahmad Zaharil Muhaiyar, who is representing Zahid, said they would abide by whatever decision the court takes in the civil suit.
The hearing on the suit will resume on Jan 12.
On Aug 17, 2020, the Kuala Lumpur High Court sentenced a teenager to prison, at the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, after he was found to have set the tahfiz centre on fire. – FMT