PAS has asked if Tabung Haji’s claim of ready buyers for the controversial Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) land is not just a piece of “drama” to cover up the scandalous expose of its overpriced purchase.
“The announcement by Tabung Haji’s top management on the sale of the land is something very odd.
“Was the announcement made simply to pacify the anger of the public at the Tabung Haji management right now?” asked PAS information chief Mahfuz Omar ( right ) in a statement last night.
He said the assurance that Tabung Haji chairperson Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim made yesterday defied logic, since Prime Minister Najib Razak had only reportedly called him in the morning to instruct the sale.
Three days earlier, Tabung Haji in answering critics over the expose claimed the plot of land, purchased at roughly 37 times its original acquisition price four years ago from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), was meant for developing a residential block.
However Azeez refused to elaborate on the supposed buyers, only hinting that they could possibly be “non-Muslim”.
“(The assurance of buyers) is no more than part of the wonderful drama, what more when Azeez himself admitted that the decision (to sell) was made as a result of a phone call from Najib that morning,” noted Mahfuz, who is PAS’ parliamentary whip and Pokok Sena MP.
“It is clear the Tabung Haji management only acts when their secret is exposed.
“And this means if there was no exposure, they would have quietly used the Tabung Haji money to save 1MDB that is on the verge of sinking,” he said.
Abuse of Islamic funds
He echoes DAP parliamentarian Tony Pua, who alleged that the hushed transaction was a timely move to help bail out 1MDB, which is struggling with cash flow problems in the face of its RM42 billion debt burden.
Mahfuz pointed out yesterday’s announcement by Azeez has not addressed the root problem of the scandal that exploded last week via a blog leaking the information out.
“(The root question) is, why is Tabung Haji money being used to bail out 1MDB?” he asked.