G25 calls for audit on Jakim accounts

The G25 moderates group of prominent Malays and retired civil servants has urged for an audit on the Malaysian Islamic Development Department's (Jakim) accounts, and also said it would launch its own in-depth study on the department. In a statement tonight, the group said its study on Jakim was aimed at "reaffirming the place of Islam in the country's constitutional democracy". It said it had raised concerns to the prime minister last year about Jakim exceeding its limits as permitted by the Federal Constitution. The group added that its study also wanted to ensure that Jakim did not "intrude into the private lives of Muslims" in the country. "Jakim's activities are financed by Malaysian taxpayers, it is important for the public to know how their money is spent. "We hope to share our findings and recommendations with the government and the public," said the group, which started out with 25 members when it wrote its open letter on Islam in Malaysia to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in December last year, and has now grown in numbers. Jakim's relevancy has recently come into question when the son of second deputy prime minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, Tawfik Ismail, called for the department to be abolished since “constitutionally it really has no role”. Tawfik is also a G25 member but stressed that his view on abolishing Jakim was a personal one. Jakim's budget has gone under scrutiny as well, spending nearly RM1 billion of taxpayer's money on allocations and spending this year alone. – November 29, 2015.