Rafizi Ramli has claimed that the administration of former premier Najib Abdul Razak used PAS to "purify" the image of Lembaga Tabung Haji before last year's general election.
In a statement today, the PKR vice-president said that at the time, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang was led to believe that his party could become a 'kingmaker' by playing nice with Umno and Najib.
As such, Rafizi stated, PAS was brought in to purify Tabung Haji's image when he first raised allegations of mismanagement.
A PAS delegation attended a briefing at Tabung Haji prior to the May polls and subsequently declared its financial management satisfactory, he said, which indirectly indicated that his claims were made up.
Rafizi had previously been charged with criminal defamation in 2016 for posting an article titled "An analysis of Tabung Haji’s finances 2009-2015 (Analisa Kewangan Tabung Haji 2009-2015)" on Facebook.
He had claimed that Tabung Haji faced an RM3 billion shortfall in assets compared to its deposits.
On Dec 10 last year, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa confirmed reports that the Islamic pilgrimage fund had a RM4.1 billion deficit in terms of assets as of 2017, but had nevertheless continued to pay out dividends.
"So when proof started coming out that what I exposed was true, PAS was trapped.
"If they agreed (with me about Tabung Haji's scandals), then the PAS president would be embarrassed, because they had previously been the panel which ‘purified’ (menyucikan) the mismanagement at Tabung Haji," his statement read.
'Forced to politicise'
As a result of this alleged failed political strategy, Rafizi noted, Hadi is now forced to politicise the Tabung Haji issue and play up racial sentiment.
At a London dialogue session, the PAS president alleged that the Tabung Haji issue was being used to fuel the agendas of certain parties to damage the image of Islam.
In his statement, Rafizi said that PAS should be the most worried about mismanagement in Tabung Haji due to it being an Islamist party.
"As the president of a party that claims to protect Islam, actually it is PAS who should be the most worried if there is any mismanagement in Tabung Haji.
"Actually, it should be him (Hadi) who steps forward to examine Tabung Haji's every step, so that the institution becomes the best and most respected Islamic financial fund in the world."