Penang Mufti says former chief secretary to govt Mohd Sidek's hefty 1MDB perk 'haram', should be returned

·2-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, June 11 — Penang Mufti Datuk Seri Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor suggested yesterday that the hefty allowance given to former chief secretary to the government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan as 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) board member was 'haram”.

Wan Salim was quoted by Sinar Harian as saying that Islam forbids a worker from taking a wage that does not commensurate the labour put into the specified work, a comment following Mohd Sidek’s testimony that he was paid up to RM30,000 monthly to sit in the fund’s advisory board.

'The Prophet had asserted that whoever is hired to perform a task is paid a certain wage. Whatever excess taken from that is deemed to be haram,” Wan Salim said.

Under Islamic law, the degree of sin is higher if the wage was taken from public funds, the Penang mufti added.

He then advised Mohd Sidek to return the money.

'If it can’t be returned to the government as an alternative it can be channelled into any programmes that benefit the public, such as helping the poor or through the court,” he was quoted as saying.

The former chief secretary told the High Court as a witness in Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak’s corruption trial that he had never attended a single board meeting despite receiving a premium emolument.

Mohd Sidek testified that he was a board member from July 1, 2010 to June 23, 2012,. His contract was later extended to June 2015 but with the allowance reduced to RM10,000 a month.

He claimed Najib had put him on the Finance Ministry-owned 1MDB because the former prime minister felt his salary was too low, with the role initially providing an additional income of RM30,000 per month.

Meanwhile legal group ProGuam said Mohd Sidek is morally obligated to return the allowances.

'By right he should do the responsible thing and return the allowances. It might not be a legal obligation but as a moral one, it is,” its president Noorazmir Zakaria told Sinar Harian.