Tuesday 28 August 2012

PM eyes public funds for imams, village chiefs’ Haj

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 27 ― Part of the country’s wealth and income should be used to help imam (Muslim clerics) and chairmen of the Village Security and Development Committees (JKKK) to perform the Haj because of the important role they played in the community Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.

He said the people always had high expectations of the clerics and JKKK chairmen who would do their best in discharging their responsibilities.

The prime minister said during a Haj Special Programme launched last year that he was sad when he found out that some of the imam and JKKK chairmen still had limited amount of savings in their Tabung Haji accounts.

“It had opened my eyes. If we can find sustenance through leadership and administration to generate wealth and income, it will be most apt if we can use part of this wealth for a very good and noble cause.

“In my opinion, it is better if we can help these imam and village heads to perform the Haj,” he said at the presentation of the offer letters to perform the Haj to 400 recipients at Seri Perdana, here, today.

Each recipient also received a set of ihram cloth and other basic Haj necessities.

Present were chairman of the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin and Tabung Haji group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Ismee Ismail.

Under the Second Haj Special Programme, 1MDB allocated RM4 million and Tabung Haji, RM2 million, to enable 200 imam and 200 JKKK chairmen to perform Haj this year.

Najib said that since he took the helm of the country’s leadership, he had secretly made a wish to find a way to ensure that each imam, JKKK chairman and village head across the country would be able to perform the Haj.

“This wish started to come true last year with the first batch of 111 imam and village heads leaving for the Holy Land to perform their Haj.

“I also performed Haj last year and I have seen how big the impact of this programme on those selected. So, this season, we increase the number to 400,” he said.

The prime minister also called on the prospective pilgrims to pray for Malaysia’s continuous success and peace while in the Holy Land.

Meanwhile, Jalaludin Mat Jali, on behalf of the recipients, said the programme mooted by the prime minister really meant a lot to them.

“Prior to this, our dream to perform the Haj might have been hampered by quota and financial constraints. But with this programme, we will be able to perform the pilgrimage.

“We would like to thank the prime minister for his appreciation of our contributions to the local community,” said the imam from Selangor.

Abdul Majid Mohamed, chairman of the Kampung Sungai Miang JKKK in Pekan, Pahang, said he was grateful for the assistance. — Bernama

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