A FEDERAL Islamic charity in the news for financial misconduct is under the media spotlight again after a video surfaced showing a senior executive warning the staff against voting for Pakatan Harapan in last May’s general election.
The two-minute video shows a Malaysia Islamic Economic Development Foundation (YaPEIM) executive making a speech at a company event in a hotel.
In the video, which is making the rounds on social media, laughter can be heard when the speaker jokes that he will examine each and every one of their votes, to which a voice says “undi rahsia” (votes are confidential).
However, there was no laughter when the speaker proceeded to warn that PH supporters are not welcome at the foundation.
The speaker warned that jobs in YaPEIM depended on the “existing system” and that they would lose their positions if there was a change of government.
“(We are here) because of the existing system. If the government changes, we will not be here any more. Believe it.
“Everything in front of you will disappear. Balik kampung (go home).”
YaPEIM trustees board chairman Dr Mohd Daud Bakar declined to comment on the video.
He has admitted that the former management of the foundation misappropriated funds for orphans and that the board of trustees has restructured all of the committees in YaPEIM for better administration.
Last week, The Malaysian Insight broke the story that YaPEIM funds paid for the legal expenses of the director, who was an aide to then prime minister Najib Razak.
The documents containing the allegation sighted by The Malaysian Insight also held other claims, including that of the top management being paid unreasonablyhigh salaries and bonuses.
They also allegedly received allowances from subsidiary companies and of appointed themselves to the board of directors of the said companies.
YaPEIM is also reported to have lost RM12 million in the Ar-Rahnu pawn scheme after having failed to auction off unclaimed items.
The foundation is also said to have made irrational business decisions, such as acquiring a building in Putrajaya with a bank loan higher than the purchase price, and making investments uncertified by a risk and investment committee.
The government is investigating the claims and has appointed PwC to audit the company accounts.
At the end of 2015, National Oversight and Whistle-blowers Centre director Akmal Nasir made similar charges against YaPEIM.
Former minister Jamil Khir Baharom then sued Akmal, now the Johor Baru MP and the PKR youth chief.
The suit was dismissed in 2016 on the grounds that Jamil could not submit a suit in his capacity as a minister. THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT
Expose will lead to restoration of YaPEIM’s image, says Mujahid
THE disclosures of financial misconduct in the Malaysia Islamic Economic Development Foundation (YaPEIM) is the first step towards the restoration of the institution’s reputation and the people’s trust in it, said Minister in charge of Islamic affairs, Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa.
He said that the government was committed to ensuring transparency and credibility in the various state institutions, especially those related to his portfolio.
“Since I became minister, we’ve had a policy to look into all these agencies, into which we carry out independent investigations as we have done in the rehabilitation of Tabung Haji. We have also done the same with Iksim, and now it is YaPEIM.
“We are taking action to restore these agencies, especially the ones under us that receive funds for orphans. We want to restore the confidence of the people in them,” he said at the launch of Rahmah Mosque in Masjid Jamek, Kuala Lumpur.
Speaking to the media, Daud said following the expose, the board has restructured the committees in YaPEIM for better administration of the foundation.
PwC has also been appointed to audit YaPEIM’s accounts.
The Malaysian Insight reported last week that RM1 million of YaPEIM’s funds meant to provide aid for orphans were misappropriated to pay the legal fees incurred by an aide to the former prime minister Najib Razak aides.
The Malaysian Insight had sighted confidential government documents reporting alleged misappropriation of funds at the Islamic institution.
The reports had also revealed that the director and senior board members were paid unreasonably high salaries and bonuses, and that they received allowances from YaPEIM subsidiaries.
Mujahid said he believed that with the introduction of a new board of directors, the institution will be revived to receive further contributions in aid of orphans.
“I think that’s why he has revealed what was happening, which is for the basic purpose of returning public trust in this institution, so that Yapiem will see increased contributiond and we are enabled to many things for the development of Islamic economics.” the malaysian insight
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT