Tabung Haji files police report over illegal 2017 hibah

By ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) has filed a third police report, claiming that senior executives of the pilgrim fund had deceived the board with inaccurate financial figures to push for the distribution of the annual “hibah” to depositors.

The latest financial misrepresentation came after the fund unearthed a RM4.1 billion gap between assets and liabilities for the financial year ended 2017 (FY17) which would made hibah distribution illegal.

Despite the financial gap, the pilgrim fund distributed hibah of 4.5% (annual) and 1.75% (haj) to about nine million depositors, contravening the Tabung Haji Act 1995 on dividend distribution.

The new police report, filed at the Dang Wangi police station yesterday, claimed that group CFO Datuk Rozaida Omar and former CEO Datuk Seri Johan Abdullah had released incorrect figures for the 2017 financial account in two executive working papers.

The papers, prepared and approved by Rozaida and Johan, were presented to TH’s board members at two special meetings on Feb 6 and 9, 2018, which were to recommend the hibah payments.

“The executive working papers contain statements and representations which led to incorrect figures being reflected in the said financial statements which were accepted
by the board.

“On the basis of the said financial statements, the board of directors of TH made a recommendation to the minister responsible, who then approved the declaration of distributable hibah for FY17 of 4.5% (annual) and 1.75% (haj) in contravention of Section 22 of the TH Act 1995,” TH said in a statement yesterday.

The state-owned fund said the audited financial statements were then signed off on Apr 3, 2018, by the board represented by then chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and Johan, while Rozaida as the principal officer primarily responsible for the financial management and accounting records.

TH CEO Datuk Seri Zukri Samat, during a media brief on Tuesday, had not dismissed more police reports to be filed by the fund over suspicious decision and financial mismanagement.

Internal investigations are expected to continue with no timeline set.TH is a hot-button issue for the government as it involves the savings of more than nine million Muslim Malaysians. The government had already created a special-purpose vehicle to buy out RM19.9 billion of securities and assets from the fund to balance its books.

Yesterday’s police report was the third made by the new board and management, which undertook a holistic review of TH’s financial position, after their appointment in July 2018.

Zukri, who is entering his sixth month at the helm of the pilgrim fund, has so far uncovered several questionable deals executed by the former management and board.

The fund had also made police reports over the alleged use of funds under Yayasan Tabung Haji for politically linked programmes, the withholding of material information on a stake sale in PT TH Indo Plantations and the acquisition of an oil palm plantation in Indonesia.

Zukri also confirmed that four TH senior officers, who were named in the previous police reports, continue to be on garden leave.

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