Revamping Tabung Haji

CEO Zukri to revitalise pilgrim fund that has gone astray

IN the office of Lembaga Tabung Haji’s (TH) group managing director and chief executive officer, Datuk Seri Zukri Samat, sits a caricature of him in an Arsenal jersey wishing him all the best for his 60th birthday.

As a long-time fan of the club, Zukri, like many others, knew Arsenal was a dysfunctional club under the previous management and the situation needed a reboot.

Mimicking reality, Zukri’s entry into TH was just that, to revitalise an institution that has gone by the wayside. But the reality is that this is where the similarities end.

Zukri knew things at TH were not right even when he was helming Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd, which is owned by TH. The reality of the mess was evident upon assuming the role of CEO in July, where a month later, the fund recruited the services of long-time financial services stalwart Datuk Zaiton Mohd Hassan.

“I knew what was going on, but I did not have the intimate details. After coming in as CEO, I did not expect the situation to be as bad,” he tells StarBizWeek in an interview.

The first of many red flags of what was going on was the emphasis on matters raised in TH’s 2017 annual report. When auditors disclose such matters, it is a sign that not all is well with the accounts. The auditor was the National Audit Department.

Related story:

How Tabung Haji became an unregulated ‘bank’

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