Political analyst Professor Ahmad Atory Hussain claims that 1MDB has been prioritising young imams and village chiefs in its haj sponsorship programme, rather than the old folk.
“Many young applicants have been getting the 1MDB-sponsored spots. I feel shocked, if those who went on haj were as old as me, I wouldn’t mind.
“But these young imams and village heads are not old at all,” Atory told Malaysiakini today.
1MDB has been offering sponsorships for the haj, a pilgrimage to Mecca required of all Muslims, since 2011.
Atory said that according to the Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) name list, his turn will only come when he is 110 years old.
“I have applied four times to perform the haj, but it seems that it will take 44 years before I get it.
“I am now 66 years old and I probably won’t be around when I am 100,” Atory added.
Atory had previously commented on a letter by writer Subky Latif, published yesterday in Malaysiakini.
“I have applied four times and have yet to receive an answer from Tabung Haji, I am now almost 70 years old,” Atory, a former Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) political science lecturer, wrote in the comment section.
Since 2011, 1MDB has spent more than RM56 million to sponsor 5,711 pilgrims, including imams, village development and security committee (JKKK) chairpersons, tahfiz (religious) teachers and tok batin (village chiefs) to perform the haj under the Prime Minister-1MDB Foundation special programme.