Police probe on Malay NGO is an 'opportunity for reflection': Dr Yaacob

Last week's news on Malay-Muslim non-government organisation Majlis Pusat being investigated by the police for reasons believed to be related to its management of the annual Hari Raya Aidilfitri light-up projects is an opportunity for reflection, sai
Last week's news on Malay-Muslim non-government organisation Majlis Pusat being investigated by the police for reasons believed to be related to its management of the annual Hari Raya Aidilfitri light-up projects is an opportunity for reflection, said Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim (above) on Saturday, Sept 7, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: RAJ NADARAJAN

Last week's news on Malay-Muslim non-government organisation Majlis Pusat being investigated by the police for reasons believed to be related to its management of the annual Hari Raya Aidilfitri light-up projects is an opportunity for reflection, said Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim on Saturday.

"Majlis Pusat is an old Malay-Muslim organisation and has been very active," said Dr Yaacob, who was speaking on the sidelines of a Mendaki event. "We hope that after this episode they can continue to serve the community but I suppose this episode also gives us an opportunity to reflect on what we can do more to strengthen the governance of Malay-Muslim organisations."

The Straits Times reported on Friday that the Commercial Affairs Department visited Majlis Pusat's office in Toa Payoh Central on Aug 31 to retrieve computers and file documents for investigations.

Responding to media queries last week, Majlis Pusat said that "to ensure efficiency and transparency of investigations", the current executive committee had temporarily relinquish its duties, with adviser and former president Zulkifli Mohammed taking over the mantle in the meantime.

"The Prime Minister himself at the recent National Day Rally spoke about how important Malay-Muslim organisations are to the Malay community," said Dr Yaacob. "We now have the resources that he has given to us through the MMCDF (Malay/Muslim Community Development Fund), a total of $2.6 million starting from next year so we are planning to use part of the money to allow Malay-Muslim organisations to tap on it for capability development."

He added that governance is important and when organisations implement a program, they would have to put in place a system to track and monitor its key performance indicators because "at the end of the day we are accountable to the public".