Funds from non-halal source: Get the facts right first

By Tony Pua, Free Malaysia Today

All Umno elected representatives nationwide should immediately return all their salaries to the government as they come from non-halal sources.

The recent controversy created by Umno politicians over the welfare funds given to old folks and the poor in Penang, that it was derived from non-halal sources such as gambling, shows that they are willing to be the biggest hypocrites in order to maintain their grip on power.

Firstly, the state government has clearly denied that such funds were used for distribution to Muslims, which means that these Umno politicians are lying through their teeth to gain political mileage.

Secondly and more importantly, their attempt to distinguish halal and non-halal revenue for Penang smacks of ultimate hypocrisy as the Federal Government headed by Umno, the Finance Minister who is also Umno president, Najib Tun Razak are the parties responsible for legalised gambling in this country.

Furthermore, had it not been for the opposition by Pakatan Rakyat, Najib would not have withdrawn the sports betting license awarded to tycoon Vincent Tan.

What’s more, the Finance Ministry has responded in Parliament to MP for Rasah, Anthony Loke on June 9, 2010, that the government does not in any way differentiate the tax it receives from different revenue sources, be they from halal or non-halal activities.

“Untuk makluman Yang Berhormat, buat masa ini, hasil daripada aktiviti perjudian adalah dikategorikan sebagai hasil cukai kepada Kerajaan… Bagi semua hasil daripada bayaran cukai ia akan dimasukkan ke dalam Akaun Hasil Disatukan sama seperti semua hasil Kerajaan yang lain dan digunakan untuk tujuan belanja mengurus dan pembangunan negara.”

This means that all tax revenue collected are deposited into a single Consolidated Fund.

Hence, by virtue of the same argument Umno is using in Penang, all Umno elected representatives should immediately return all their parliamentary and state assembly allowances to the government as the revenue source is even more dubious than in Penang!

Separate lanes

Penang state opposition leader Azahar Ibrahim obviously could tell the difference when he claimed that “Umno assemblymen need not return their allowances as the state government’s income was from tax revenue.”

He’s obviously ignorant of the fact, intentionally or otherwise, that taxes are paid to the federal government which are then redistributed back to the respective states as grants and loans.