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Is govt revenue haram?

Umno: Penang government aid possibly haram

“Saya terima banyak panggilan daripada warga emas yang bertanyakan mengenai perkara itu dan mereka bimbang serta gelisah kerana sudah menerima wang RM100 dan RM1,000 terbabit sejak kerajaan negeri melaksanakan program penghargaan warga emas.

“Mereka sangat bimbang dengan dakwaan wang berkenaan dari sumber duit judi yang haram bagi umat Islam … penjelasan berkenaan bagi menghilangkan keraguan orang ramai di mana sehingga kini masih belum ada sebarang penjelasan walaupun sudah beberapa hari blog berkenaan membuat dakwaan terbabit.”

Umno Youth Information chief Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, asking Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to answer allegations that emerged on a blog. The blog post questioned Penang’s ability to finance their Senior Citizens Appreciation Programme, which awarded RM100 to residents over 60. It said the money could have been obtained from “haram” sources such as gambling revenue or “underworld” contributions.

Reezal later produced a letter confirming that the Penang government had received a contribution of RM500,000 from the Penang Turf Club. Lim has denied that such funds were distributed to Muslims. (Source: Pulau Pinang diminta perjelas sumber wang ehsan, Bernama as quoted in Malaysiakini, 18 Sep 2010)

“We want an answer from Lim (Guan Eng). If the money is from a forbidden source, Muslims will have no part in it.”

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, calling on Lim to answer Umno Youth’s allegations about funding sources for Penang’s senior citizens’ programme. (Source: Lim should answer allegations by Umno Youth, The Malay Mail, 25 Sep 2010)

“I am strongly against receiving money from haram (forbidden in Islam) sources. So I am returning it.”

Penang senior citizen Md Saad Md Safar, at a press conference called by state Opposition Leader Datuk Azhar Ibrahim from Umno. Md Saad said he was shocked to learn that some of the money for this programme was obtained from the Penang Turf Club. Md Saad, together with eight others, returned their RM100 award to Penang Umno Youth for them to forward to the state government. Another 50 senior citizens have also returned their RM100 through the Bayan Baru Umno division. (Source: Nine return RM100 payout, The Star, 30 Sep 2010)

But what about federal government revenue?

“Untuk makluman Yang Berhormat, buat masa ini, hasil daripada aktiviti perjudian adalah dikategorikan sebagai hasil cukai kepada kerajaan … Bagi semua hasil daripada bayaran cukai ia akan dimasukkan ke dalam Akaun Hasil Disatukan sama seperti semua hasil kerajaan yang lain dan digunakan untuk tujuan belanja mengurus dan pembangunan negara.”

The Finance Ministry‘s written response to Rasah MP Anthony Loke, quoted in a press statement by Petaling Jaya Utara member of Parliament (MP) Tony Pua. The ministry’s statement was reportedly in response to a question from Loke on whether the federal government differentiates the tax income it receives from different sources, whether halal or non-halal.

The ministry clarified that all taxes, including those from gambling, are consolidated in a single fund and used for the nation’s expenses and development. (Source: Umno elected reps pay check also from “dubious sources”, Philosophy Politics Economics, 4 Oct 2010)

“[By] virtue of the same argument Umno is using in Penang, all Umno elected representatives should immediately return all their parliamentary and state assembly allowances to the government as the revenue source is even more dubious than in Penang.”

Pua, challenging Umno elected representatives to return their government allowances since the tax revenue used to pay them also contained taxes from gambling and other non-halal activities. Pua said it was the federal government that approved all gambling licences in Malaysia. (Source: Umno elected reps pay check also from “dubious sources”, Philosophy Politics Economics, 4 Oct 2010)

“[Government aid derived from the gaming industry is not haram] because [the recipients] are not the ones involved in gambling and receive the aid because they are needy.”

“It is the same as … if the government pays a food supplier with gambling revenue. The money is halal as [the food supplier] derived it not from gambling but from food sales.”

Former Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, refuting claims that government aid derived from the gaming industry is forbidden in Islam. He said if revenue was derived from gaming, the fault lay with the government and the gaming company, not the aid recipients.

Asri also pointed out that salaries of state and federal civil servants were also derived from all sorts of revenue sources, some of which may include taxes on gambling, alcohol and entertainment venues. In such cases, their salaries are likewise not considered haram, he said. (Source: Asri defends Penang gov’t, gambling revenue ‘halal’, Malaysiakini, 27 Sep 2010)

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12 Responses to “Is govt revenue haram?”

  1. kadir says:

    Hahaha, what a joke. Reezal: “If money is from a forbidden source, Muslims will have no part in it.” Very true, Reezal. What about all the wealth you have accumulated so far? Through hard work and halal sources? I hope so.

  2. An observer says:

    Pecunia non olet. That’s Latin for “Money does not smell”.

    That was what the Roman Emperor Titus Flavius Vespasianus told his son in the 1st century when his son complained that the tax he levied on the collection of urine in Rome was disgusting (the tax money was spent on public works and the restoration and beautification of Rome).

    This haram reasoning is so petty next to all the worries of the world that the poor [person] in the street goes through daily to make ends meet.

    Get a life, religious people!

  3. KK Aw says:

    This is really much ado about nothing.

    As far as I know, many social clubs are given licences to operate slot machines. These licenses are often passed on to separate companies who set up an annex to the club in the middle of town to increase their customer base. These customers, who are not members of the social clubs, frequent these annexes to gamble. Where does this revenue go? Is this not haram? I was told that a newly elected president of a club resigned when he found out about this.

  4. Reza says:

    More hypocrisy from Umno – should we be surprised?

  5. K S Ong says:

    This is just one of many examples where Umno should think first before pointing a finger at others… [especially] when three other fingers are pointing at themselves.

  6. azren says:

    Hahahaha akhir zaman… Apabila si Islam lebih “seronok”, mereka yang bukan “ahli” bercakap mengenai halal atau haram. What a shame.

    Ding-dong – there is zakat to help the poor.

    Please get the accurate info from the right sources before talk about Islam, not by Google-ing.

  7. azren says:

    Who are you?? Mufti or ulama to teach Muslims about halal or haram? Please, for the sake of freedom of speech, don’t just approve only comments [that take your side].

    • Adam says:

      Yes, for the sake of freedom of speech, let all have a say in all issues; whether people get their opinions from Google-ing, from politicians, muftis, MSM, blogs or anywhere is besides the point. If we do not agree with people’s opinions or perceptions of certain issues, we have to try to change their views by rational reasoning supported by facts and references if any.

      When you ask people not to comment because they are not experts, then you lose your chance to present your views and get them to your side.

      By the way, Google is one of the best sources of information for anything under the sun. Peace.

  8. Sarawakian says:


    You seem pretty annoyed. Matters that affect people of all beliefs is worth being discussed by “non-ahli” as it affects them. And matters that need pure common sense need not be “judged” by an ulama. Don’t we have the brains and mental capacity to reason with common sense? Don’t be a supremacist or bigot. How would you like it if Westerners forced their values upon you?

    And besides, full freedom of religion is not even practised in Malaysia.

  9. Billy says:

    The next thing they will do is to ask all Muslims in this country to stop breathing as the air they breathe can also be considered haram, consquence of its emission by the infidel non-Malays.

  10. zambri says:

    If what Reezal argues is true, then all government servants take home HARAM money. All taxes collected by the government are channeled to a “kumpulan wang disatukan” account, and expenditures are disbursed from this account, including salaries.

  11. A lengthy discussion on halal and haram issues. Don’t impose the standard on people. What is halal to me may be haram to you, and likewise. It’s just a matter of how you look at it.

    Whatever halal and haram sources of revenue as collected in the Consolidated Fund, the usage should be of good purposes. Why the double standards? Or else create another government treasury for haram and halal sources of revenue? Think before talking and acting. […]

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