Muslim NGO Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah Organisation (Aswaja) has questioned the decision to appoint e-commerce platform Shopee as a zakat (tithe) collector.
Its president Zamihan Mat Zin said this is because zakat collection can only be carried out by Muslims.
"So, who owns Shopee or manages zakat collection on their behalf? Muslims or non-Muslims?
"What are the definition and the true role of Shopee in the zakat collection process? An amil (zakat collector)? A majazi (metaphorical) agent, middle person, facilitator, e-commerce server or a ghost?" he said to Malaysiakini.
Zamihan also questioned whether this was a free service.
If not, he asked whether service charges to Shopee for collecting zakat will be paid from operational funds for Islamic councils, or from the zakat collection itself.
Earlier this month, Shopee was appointed to collect zakat in the Federal Territories, Selangor and Perak.
In an FAQ, the company gave its assurance that all zakat transactions were "valid in accordance with Islamic law".
It also said there were plans to expand zakat collection in other states.
Zamihan, however, said that zakat collection isn't a business or banking transaction, but is instead a religious obligation.
For the record, zakat payment through online banking has been available for years.
Malaysiakini is contacting Shopee and the Islamic councils for comment.