The scandal that hit the Malaysian Islamic Economic Development Foundation (Yapeim) has caused Islamic scholar Wan Ji Wan Hussin to lament that there is not enough emphasis on transparency and accountability in religious teachings.
These two words are rarely used, Wan Ji said, even though there is much preaching being done in mosques.
“Isn't it a requirement in Islam to fight corruption? Didn't Prophet Muhammad say that those who give bribes and those receive it will both go to Hell?” Wan Ji told a forum about Yapeim in Kuala Lumpur last night.
He said many Muslim-majority countries and many Islamic-based organisations have turned out to be problematic, including Yapeim, which he pointed out even has the word 'Islam' in its name.
On the flip size, none of the least corrupt countries in the world are Muslim-majority countries.
Among the Muslim-majority countries, there are also many atheists in deeply religious Saudi Arabia and Egypt, he said.
'Return to the roots of Islam'
“Why? Because people are seeing that the people who supposedly promote religion and who use religion are not necessarily good people.
“People who read the Quran and the Hadith may seem good in reading them, but are not necessarily good in their actions. If you look at the Yapeim issue for example, there are people of religion there,” Wan Ji said.
To tackle these problems, he urged the people not to be too concerned about appearing to be religious.
“Islam has its roots and we should return to its roots. Don't be too obsessed with appearance and with religious rules, for the most important thing that we need to put forward are the values and the spirit of humanity,” he said, to the applause from the audience.
Yapeim's expenses have come under scrutiny of the anti-graft NGO National Oversight and Whistleblowers (NOW) and its director, Akmal Nasir (photo), has made a slew of allegations against the foundation.
Among others, Akmal highlighted that Yapeim has been paying an Umno leader and her family members almost RM2 million a year for holding various posts in Yapeim companies.
He also claimed that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Jamil Khir Baharom travelled to the United States with his wife to officiate at a marriage course there, but the itinerary also included a round of golf and a trip to a premium brands outlet.
However, Jamil has rebutted this claim, saying he was in the US on an official business trip, and the golf game was hosted by the Malaysian Embassy in the US.
Yapeim and Jamil are now suing Akmal and NOW over these allegations.
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