Penang DCM: Opposition leader’s claim of zakat aid discrimination is false, provocative

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

GEORGE TOWN, Feb 29 — The Penang Opposition leader’s claim that the poor in Perikatan Nasional constituencies were being sidelined by Zakat Pulau Pinang (ZPP) was false and malicious, said Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mohamad Abdul Hamid.

He also said Muhammad Fauzi Yusoff’s remarks in a press conference yesterday criticising the state and ZPP for this was incendiary and provocative.

“Clearly, the Opposition leader is ‘playing politics’ by sowing doubt and hatred to distance zakat contributors from ZPP,” he said in a statement issued today.

He accused Fauzi of attempting to sabotage the ZPP’s work by claiming that the organisation had denied the rights of the poor and linking it to a direct order from him as the DCM.

“The distribution of aid by zakat that were not made through the Opposition assemblymen does not mean that the asnaf (poor and destitute) in those areas were sidelined,” he said.

He said ZPP is organising the “Back To School” and Nur Ramadan programmes to assist the asnaf in Penang and it will be launched on March 3.

“Through the ‘Back To School’ programme, an estimated 20,000 students in the state will receive school uniforms, involving a zakat contribution of RM3 million,” he said.

As for the Nur Ramadan programme, e-wallet hampers will be distributed to 15,654 people with a contribution totalling RM1.56 million from zakat funds.

“As preparations for Ramadan, recipients can redeem kitchen items worth RM100 at selected stores or supermarkets using only their MyKad,” he said.

He stressed that the distribution of zakat for the school uniform schemes and Nur Ramadan hampers is allocated to all 40 state constituencies through the respective state assemblymen service centre, state constituency coordinators, Penang Islamic Religious Council (MAINPP) members, ZPP board of directors and schools.

“All applications were submitted online,” he said.

He also said all decisions on the distribution of zakat were decided by the ZPP board of directors.

“As an agency under MAINPP, the professional management of ZPP always ensures that no party will be marginalized in the distribution of zakat for this scheme and other schemes,” he said.

He said he will ensure that those who are eligible to receive zakat will not be sidelined from any zakat programmes by ZPP.

“I will ensure that MAINPP and ZPP, which are state government agencies, are administered through good governance to safeguard the socio-economic interests and balance of the Muslim community in Penang,” he said.

Yesterday, Fauzi, who is also PAS Sungai Dua assemblyman, claimed the poor people in the 11 constituencies held by PN in the state were sidelined by the state and ZPP.

He said his coalition’s lawmakers were not invited to the ZPP Back to School and Nur Ramadan briefing session in early February.

Fauzi also said previously, the Opposition were involved in ZPP programmes so that they could help those in their respective constituencies.

He then accused Mohamad of being arrogant in facing them and the people while treating the zakat funds as a political tool.