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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