KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today expressed his regret over the spread of inaccurate statements, causing unrest in the country and bringing harm to the people, as happened in the issue relating to Tabung Haji (TH) recently. He said the untrue statements against TH had created an atmosphere of unrest and distrust among the people in Malaysia towards Islamic financial and welfare institutions in the country.
“There may be Muslims who were affected by the inaccurate statements to the extent that they have withdrawn their savings from TH. It really saddens me because according to the terms laid down, the investors are now experiencing not only a loss in terms of return on investment and savings, but also in terms of the opportunity to perform the Haj pilgrimage to Makkah,” the Prime Minister said this in his latest posting on his blog NajibRazak.com today.
Najib said one of TH’s roles was to be an investment body, allowing Muslims in Malaysia to save and invest their money in a halal manner, based on Islamic jurisprudence. However, due to various irresponsible statements against TH, Muslims who have withdrawn their savings are no longer able to enjoy the returns from TH.
“What’s even more unfortunate is those who have done so may even lose their opportunity to perform the Haj. The main objective of TH since its establishment in 1963 was to enable Malaysians to carry out the Haj pilgrimage – the fifth pillar of Islam. The government has, and will continue to strive to enable as many Muslims in Malaysia to be able to perform the Haj, of which one way is through providing subsidies for those who are performing it for the first time,” he said.
“For the year 1437H (of the Muslim calender), the actual cost of the pilgrimage is RM18,890 per person, but the amount payable by pilgrims is only RM9,980. The rest of RM8,910 will be borne by TH. Compared to other countries, the cost of pilgrimage for Malaysians is among the lowest,” he said.
The Prime Minister also said that diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia had led to the latter providing additional quota for the pilgrimage. Last year, for example, Malaysia received an additional quota of 2,100 pilgrims, compared to the original quota of 22,320.
“Even so, God willing, at the same time, the government will continue to strive to further increase the quota for Malaysian pilgrims. The exceptional Haj pilgrim management effort by Malaysia and also the personal conduct of Malaysian pilgrims who are very disciplined during worship and fulfilling their obligations to Allah, is often praised the authorities in Saudi Arabia,” he said.
“Therefore, it would be a pity if all the hard work, good relationship, recognition and advantages of this pilgrimage become useless due to irresponsible statements spread by politicians and social media users,” he said in his latest posting in his blog here on Friday.
There are those who have been saving up in TH for a long time, already approaching old age, but due to being influenced by statements that have been twisted, have missed out on their opportunity to perform the pilgrimage. Isn’t it a sad loss? I understand there are some individuals who intend to make a political maneuver by toying with the people and inciting hatred among them, however, I advise for all this be stopped,” he added.