Controversies come and go, but the cash is always flowing to Jakim

Chan Kok Leong

Jakim officer Zamihan Mat Zin caused quite a stir this year with a sermon that insulted the minorities and incurred the wrath of the Johor sultan. –AFP pic, October 29, 2017.

DESPITE controversies arising from overzealous preachers and lack of fire safety in tahfiz schools, Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and the Federal Territory Islamic Department (Jawi) were allocated more funds in Budget 2018.
The budget sets aside RM1.03 billion for Islamic development, which comes out of the Prime Minister Department’s operating expenditure for 2018.
Jakim is getting the lion’s share of the allocation, enjoying an extra RM65.9 million on top of this year’s RM744.9 million. This brings Jakim’s total budget in 2018 to RM810.9 million, an increase of 8.8% from Budget 2017.

Jawi was allocated an extra RM24.4 million for next year, bringing its total budget to RM119 million. This increase amounts to a 26% hike from this year’s allocation of 94.6 million.

Earlier this month, Jakim was in the spotlight when one of its officers, Zamihan Mat Zin, angered Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar after he criticised the southern ruler’s decree regarding a Muslim-only launderette in Muar. This prompted Sultan Ibrahim to instruct the Johor Islamic Religious Department to cut ties with Jakim.

Another Islamic authority, Federal Territory Islamic Council (MAIWP), also under the purview of Islamic development, was in the news when a building it owned in Jalan Dato’ Keramat serving as a temporary tahfiz hostel became a fire death trap.

The tahfiz school fire resulted in the deaths of 21 pupils and two wardens. Although the Fire & Rescue Department and the Local Housing Minister Noh Omar has come out to say that the building did not have proper fire safety precautions, neither MAIWP nor Jamil Khir have stepped up to provide any explanations for the incident.

MAIWP and other religious agencies TV Al-Hijrah, Institute of Islamic Understanding, Islamic Welfare, and Wakaf, Zakat & Haj Department were allowed the same budgets as 2017.

For Jakim, the biggest jump is in fixed payments, to RM596 million next year from RM537 million this year. The allocation for supplies and services is increased by RM6 million to RM135.69 million.

Under emoluments, Jakim received RM79.1 million for its 1,400 employees.

Overall, the PMD’s 2018 estimated federal expenditure of RM17.42 billion was split between operating expenditure (RM5.21 billion) and development expenditure (RM12.21 billion). – October 29, 2017.

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  • Najib is pernicious, a very sick man. He is creating a theocratic bulwark for his protection and to push his agenda willy-nilly. He is building a society made up of 'symbol-minded' people compliant to his brand of muftis that do his bidding under guise. Such dehumanized people cannot think beyond decrees and symbols. I am insulted and will vehemently disapprove this 'loaded' allocation designed to further subjugate society!

    Posted 6 years ago by Arun Paul · Reply

  • Jibby needs them to conn the malay muslim more

    Posted 6 years ago by Leslie Chan · Reply

  • Any religion that requires money and politicians to remain relevant has become nothing more than a cult.

    Posted 6 years ago by Xuz ZG · Reply