NEWS

Tabung Haji must account for RM200mil loss: Keadilan

Leong Kar Yen and Nash Rahman

Published
Modified 29 Jan 2008, 10:21 am

Keadilan today called on the Tabung Haji Fund board to declare details of its investments after losing nearly RM200 million through a fund management agency.

Statements made by Minister in the Prime Ministers Department Abdul Hamid Zainal Abidin that the investments were done through a company licensed by the Securities Commission does not tell how the monies disappeared.

It is important because the people need to know the background of investments made, said Keadilan secretary-general Sahri Bahari in a statement today.

Tabung Haji was embroiled in controversy over the last few weeks when it failed to recover funds said to have been invested with a fund manager but The Star reported today that RM120 million has been recouped.

Quoting group managing director and chief executive officer, the daily reported that Tabung Haji would be filing claims in the courts in an attempt to recover the remaining RM80 million and that it would take all necessary steps to look after the interests of depositors.

However, Sahri said, this was not good enough as Tabung Haji must account for its mistakes.

Keadilan believes that although Tabung Haji has managed to recover RM120 million, the people need to know the kinds of business and investments it is in, Sahri said.

Foreign exchange

Part of the RM200 million invested by Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) in a local fund management company based in Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur, was believed to have been lost through foreign exchange (forex) market.

Sources also told malaysiakini that the board has recently applied for a court injunction to stop the company, which is registered with the Securities Commission, from continuing to manage the LTH investment.

Tabung Haji was established under the Lembaga Urusan dan Tabung Haji Act 1969 as Lembaga Urusan dan Tabung Haji which was later changed to LTH under the Lembaga Tabung Haji Act 1995. With a portfolio worth RM10 billion, it functions as a pilgrimage agency and is involved in investment holding, property management and investment.

After being criticised several times because of inept investment policies, Tabung Haji should have been more transparent, honest and open. The monies are the hard-earned savings of those who are from the lower- to middle-income Muslims, Sahri said.

He also called on Tabung Haji to explain to depositors why such a huge investment had been made and said the Prime Ministers Department should be held responsible for it.

We do not want only the small fry to be investigated when the sharks succeed in escaping with excuses that it was the fault of the lower officers.

In accordance with a hierarchy of responsibilities, the minister must be held responsible and be responsible, Sahri said.

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