(Nov 17): Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said there was nothing wrong in using funds from government-linked charity foundation, Malaysian Islamic Economic Development Foundation (Yapeim), to organise marriage courses overseas.
The Rakyat Post reported the minister in charge of Islamic affairs, who oversees Yapiem, as saying the programmes were to benefit Malaysians studying abroad.
“What’s wrong if Yapeim organised or paid for wedding courses to students abroad?
“Is the course not beneficial if it enables students to get married abroad or in the country?
“Students know the benefits from the course that encompasses family and also explanations relating to Islam as the federal religion,” Jamil Khir was quoted as saying by the news portal.
He was responding to National Oversight and Whistle-blower (NOW) director Akmal Nasir’s accusation yesterday that Yapeim spent RM290,000 on a marriage course in Paris, France.
Akmal had demanded to know the rationale behind the course and why Yapeim funds were used to organise it.
“Aren’t the orphans or poor in Malaysia more eligible and deserving of aid?” Akmal said recently in a press conference in Kuala Lumpur.
Jamil Khir said the course was popular among students abroad, and that some applications were rejected as they could not accommodate everyone, the Rakyat Post reported.
He reportedly did not rule out the possibility that NOW was criticising the course because it had touched on various hot-button issues, such as the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community (LGBT), hudud, and the Islamic State (Isis).
“Students had the opportunity to ask about any concerns they had regarding religion and marriage as well as family,” he was quoted as saying.
Previously, Akmal refused to apologise over allegations that Yapeim had funded Jamil Khir’s trip to the United States last year.
He said Jamil Khir had gone golfing and shopping in Washington.
Akmal lodged a police report on Sunday over the alleged misuse of funds under Yapeim.
Jamil Khir lodged a counter-report and said Akmal was trying to destroy his credibility. – The Malaysian Insider