A lack of clarity on one of the categories of zakat recipients has resulted in the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) not channelling RM14.73 million to those for whom the money was intended, the latest Auditor-General’s Report has revealed.
Series 3 of the 2019 audit report said the money was given to welfare agencies, and not to the category of “asnaf fisabilillah”, or those involved in the propagation of Islam.
“Checks revealed that the situation arose due to the definition of asnaf fisabilillah being too general and not detailed according to the type of expenditure on which zakat money is allowed to use,” the report said.
It also noted the absence of a religious edict, or fatwa, to specify the type of projects for which zakat money can be used.
The RM14.73 million is part of RM206.9 million of zakat funds paid between January and December 2019 as well as the previous year.
The auditor-general also found that between 2013 and 2017, RM4.72 million was paid as consultation fees for development projects, despite the projects’ postponement.
The auditor-general called for a specific fatwa spelling out the types of development projects which could use zakat funds on a “case by case” basis, to ensure no leakage or wastage.