MELAKA, July 3 — A clear explanation of the management of mosque funds to committee members is crucial, in efforts to ensure that there are no leakages or irregularities that affect public trust and the mosque’s credibility as one of the fund distribution platforms.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)’s Community Education division director, Datuk Razim Mohd Noor, said that his division will expand the Mosque Community Against Corruption programme nationwide, in an effort to provide a better understanding and enhance public awareness of fund management, especially among mosque committee members.

He said that generally, most malpractice cases involved a criminal breach of trust, which is a very serious offence and has a huge impact on society if it is not addressed at an early stage.

“We receive a lot of grievances and complaints from the community who express their displeasure and worry about the management of mosque funds. This is what we want to avoid.

“Through the Mosque Community Against Corruption programme, we will provide a briefing and explanation to mosque committee members on corruption offences and other aspects of corruption prevention that need to be emphasised in managing mosque funds,” he said to reporters after attending the launch of the programme at Surau Al-Mughni in Kampung Tersusun, Bukit Larang here today.

The programme, jointly organised by MACC, the Melaka Islamic Religious Department (JAIM) and the Surau Al-Mughni, was also attended by JAIM director, Datuk Che Sukri Che Mat.

Razim said that, through such an awareness programme, mosque committee members could streamline standard operating procedures (SOPs) in terms of the management of mosque funds, which was found to be loose and subsequently led to abuse of power as well as leakage of public funds.

“For example, the implementation of a project that uses mosque funds needs to follow transparent procedures and processes, because we do not want these projects to be controlled by members of the mosque committee themselves.

“This will create a negative perception among the community or the congregation members, which will cause them to lose faith in the committee members, and worse still, they decide to stay away from mosques,” he said.

He said that the programme will be implemented in stages with the cooperation of religious agencies and mosques nationwide.

Meanwhile, Surau Al-Mughni chairman, Mohd Noor Siden, said that the Mosque Community Against Corruption was a good approach, especially in the management of mosque funds, thus reminding mosque committee members to be transparent and careful in spending the funds raised.

“Often when we heard about the MACC arresting people who abuse their powers, corruption… but this time the MACC is going down to the field to be with the community, to provide knowledge or education related to corruption offences and related laws,” he added. — Bernama