Former deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of religious affairs Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki today denied any involvement in the purported scandals linked to the Islamic Economic Development Foundation (Yapeim).
The Umno Youth chief said that he had neither been involved in any management aspect nor received any reward from Yapeim.
“Many had shared a defamatory post which attempts to link me to the scandal by accompanying the slander with my picture. It has made its rounds on social media recently,” Asyraf said in a statement.
Asyraf said he had answered questions regarding Yapeim when the issue was raised in Parliament several years ago, since the foundation is under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Department.
“I had suggested a task force to evaluate the management aspects of religious agencies to be formed. It would be called the Religious Agencies Management Special Committee.”
He said the task force would comprise professionals and experts in corporate management, including academics, high-ranking officials, accountants, lawyers, and CEOs of Islamic banking associations to ensure the credibility and integrity of the committee.
“A general guideline on syariah-compliant management was released..and Yapeim was suggested as the first agency to be corrected in term of management, and to produce a new trust deed which would be more comprehensive and in line with international standards.
“In fact, the then prime minister had agreed for Yapeim to have a new management to helm the organisation.”
He said the religious agencies must be seen as “whiter than white” due to the people’s hopes and trust placed in them.
Asyraf said he will not surrender to slander and will continue to be the voice of the people.
“If there are parties who slander me to keep me from raising issues pertaining to the rakyat, they are wrong. God willing, I am steadfast in addressing problems of the rakyat,” he said.
In August last year, the new religious affairs minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa said that Yapeim was one of the agencies on his radar and that he would weed out any misappropriation of funds.
Recently, The Malaysian Insight reported that RM1 million in aid for orphans, which was entrusted to Yapeim, was allegedly misused to settle legal fees of a lawyer who happened to be the aide to then prime minister Najib Abdul Razak in 2017.
However, Yapeim has brushed off the allegations and claimed that the legal fees were taken from a general fund, which was different from the charity fund.
The foundation is also reported to have suffered losses amounting to RM12 million through a gold pawn scheme involving 1,000 customers of its business wing Ar-Rahnu.
However, she said the decision whether to make the findings public will be left to Yapeim’s board of directors.