BNM’s supervision of TH well-received

Fund’s operations will be in line with the high regulatory standards set by the central bank


THE move to place Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) under the supervision of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) beginning Jan 1, 2019, is well-received by various stakeholders.

Many believe the monitoring of the pilgrim fund by the central bank will restore its integrity and promote greater transparency, after operations at the state-owned agency were mired by claims of hidden financial figures, suspicious corporate deals and mismanagement in recent weeks.

TH board member Prof Dr Ashraf Md Hashim said the decision to put TH under BNM’s watch was to ensure that the fund’s operations are in line with the high regulatory standards set by the central bank.

“Incorrectness and improvements at TH will be addressed via this audit (move). On this matter, BNM has a strong and experienced team. BNM will be able to identify the problem sooner and take steps to circumvent the problem, if there are any misconducts at the fund.

“To perform this task, the central bank is not subject to any order from the Ministry of Finance (MoF). In fact, it carries out the duty in accordance with the Central Bank of Malaysia Act 2009,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Ashraf, who is also Bursa Malaysia Bhd’s Shariah Committee chairman, said there is no political pressure to put the fund under BNM.

“I can confirm that there was no political intervention on the matter by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, what more the finance minister.”

Ashraf said he was appointed as a member of TH’s board four months ago, with the mandate to speak what is truthful as right, and what is false as wrong.

“With this mandate, I agreed and believe that this is the stand of others on the board as well.”

Pertubuhan Multaqa Asatizah dan Du’at president Dr Zaharuddin Abd Rahman said BNM’s supervision of TH covers only certain aspects, namely governance and financial audit.

This would include: i) fair, responsible and professional business conduct; ii) prudential regulation and supervision; iii) tools for crisis management and prevention; iv) financial safety nets; v) orderly finance markets; and vi) Shariah compliance.

“As such, there is no need to worry about non-Muslim intervention in TH as BNM works with professionals based on the Central Bank of Malaysia Act 2009; has the autonomy of the MoF in carrying out its duties; and is beyond partisan politics.

“BNM itself has a Shariah Advisory Council. On the other hand, TH is not bound to BNM like other commercial banks,” he added.