KUANTAN: The Malaysia Islamic Economic Development Foundation (YaPEIM) under the Pakatan Harapan administration will not misuse funds, says Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Fuziah Salleh.
She said in the past year, the government made sure funds from the foundation were channeled to the needy, including orphans and single mothers.
"YaPEIM will only give its funds to the deserving. Everything is transparent. I make sure of this myself," Fuziah said after the launch of Kembara Rahmah Nur Ramadan here Saturday (May 11).
She made her remarks after being asked to comment on a news report that RM1mil of YaPEIM's funds were allegedly used in 2017 to settle the legal fees of a lawyer, an aide to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Malaysian Insight reported that this was allegedly legal fees involving a lawsuit against the foundation.
Fuziah said it happened under the previous government and she did not want to delve into it.
She added that PricewaterhouseCoopers had already been appointed to audit YaPEIM's accounts.
Asked if the government would move to recover the money, Fuziah said she would let the law take its course.
"I prefer not to comment on what's in the past. This was not under my administration.
"I want to move forward. There are many things I want to do and I do not want to get embroiled in what has happened in the past because it's not only about YaPEIM's funds but also Tabung Haji, Felda and many others," she said.
Meanwhile, Najib lambasted the media for linking the allegation to him.
He said the allegation arose just because a member of the board of trustees once worked in the Prime Minister's Department several years ago when he was prime minister.
"Najib is blamed. As long as they can use a news headline with Najib's name and picture, even though it has nothing to do with Najib," he wrote on his Facebook page.
"Is it impossible for YaPEIM's board to approve the funds to defend their members because they were sued in their capacities as members of the board?" he asked.