KUALA LUMPUR: Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) has managed to trim operating expenditure, resulting in a 22.14% drop in expenses in the first quarter of the year compared with the corresponding period last year.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa said TH reduced its operation expenses from RM262 million to RM204 million.
“The data given is until March 31,“ he said in Parliament. “This is the fruit of the government’s measures to bring fiscal stability through renegotiation of contracts, introduction of centralised procurement system and refinancing on key projects to reduce finance cost.
“We renegotiated old contracts, especially for the supply of IT infrastructure, where we saved RM9.3 million per year.
“We also reduced operational spending and procurement by TH headquarters and branches nationwide with the introduction of a centralised procurement system that saved us RM2 million per year.”
Mujahid said the costs of organising events were reduced by RM1.5 million per year. Efforts were also made to refinance key projects and cutting interest charges on some of them to 1.9% from 3.7% and scrapping initiatives with low potentials.
The minister was responding to a question by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PH-Port Dickson) on the operational savings achieved by Tabung Haji so far.
Meanwhile, Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (BN-Baling), who is a former TH chairman, said Mujahid was merely providing a political answer instead of facts regarding TH’s management.
“The minister dare not conduct a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) or ask the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to look into the matter,“ said Azeez.
Azeez requested permission from the Dewan Rakyat Speaker to ask additional questions after Mujahid said the new government inherited a mess resulting from manipulative and creative accounting in TH from the administration.
His request was rejected by speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof.
Mujahid had earlier shot down a request to set up an RCI into Tabung Haji, saying the people were not anxious about how the pilgrimage fund is managed.
“We have facts. Those who manipulate (the accounts of TH) are not the government of the day, we inherited all these from the previous government.”
He was responding to Tan Sri Annuar Musa’s (BN-Ketereh) additional question, who claimed the people were worried about TH as there was a trend of manipulative and creative accounting being used in the pilgrim fund.