Mujahid not accepting Asyraf’s challenge might leave a bad impression on the Religious Affairs Minister

Mujahid Yusof Rawa is one of the popular Ministers in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition in terms of media coverage. The media loves quoting him, however news on the Religious Affairs Minister are mainly controversial in nature.

 

 

For example, in March 2019, the Religious Affairs Minister met with Indian preacher Dr. Zakir Naik. After the meeting, Mujahid praised Zakir through his Facebook post, calling the latter’s efforts in preaching Islam as “an inspiration”.

 

Consequently, the Religious Affairs Minister was condemned by netizens, particularly from those who opposed the permanent residency status of the controversial Indian preacher.

 

Recently, Tabung Haji appears as one Mujahid’s top issue, going from 166 news in December 2019 to almost 250 news in January 2020. He peaked on January 22 with more than 30 news.

 

On this day, Mujahid made headlines after he announced that the Saudi government will charge a new fee for visas beginning from the 1441H/2020M haj pilgrimage season.

 

On January 24, Mujahid said the official quota for Malaysian pilgrims for the year 2020 has increased to 31,600 compared to 30,200 pilgrims last year.

 

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said the quota increase was a result of negotiations between the Malaysian government, particularly, Tabung Haji and the Saudi government to consider increasing the number of quota in line with the increase in the population of the country.

 

Additionally, on this day, headlines of UMNO Youth Chief Asyraf Wajdi attacking the Religious Affairs Minister with regards to the selling of Tabung Haji Plantations’ subsidiaries flooded the mainstream media.

 

 

 

During a press conference on January 24, Asyraf called on Mujahid to explain the matter.

 

As seen in the influencers’ list, Asyraf comes in second with 123 statements from 1 – 31 January 2020, making him the main attacker of Mujahid.

 

The UMNO Youth chief questioned the recent sale of two TH Plantations Berhad (THP) subsidiaries to a private company based in Lahad Datu. Asyraf also noted that Mujahid needed to clarify his stance on protecting the interests of Tabung Haji’s depositors.

 

The following day, Astro Awani invited Mujahid to be a panel in a dialog session with Asyraf on matters pertaining to Tabung Haji. While the UMNO Youth chief said ‘Yes’ to the offer, the dialog session did not happen.

 

He was even called out by former Prime Minister Najib Razak to take up the challenge to debate with Asyraf. Mujahid not taking up the challenge might leave a bad impression of him as the Religious Affairs Minister.

 

Besides the Zakir Naik issue, Muhajid also finds himself in hot water for the ‘Nisha Ayub’ issue in August 2018, the ‘Kanda-adinda’ issue in December 2018 and the Tabung Haji’s hibah and subsidy issue.