Colin Charles Agenda

Quran’s costing RM1.3 million – wisest use of tax payer money?

This was in the news recently: Quran in hotel rooms soon. Excerpts:

A copy of the Quran and its intepretation will be made available in most hotel rooms in the country to allow both Muslims and non-Muslims to have “access” to the Holy book.

Ahmad Zahid said Jakim would be printing another 50,000 copies of the Quran’s interpretation for the purpose, costing some RM1.3mil, adding these books were in English to cater to foreign visitors and tourists.

50,000 copies. RM1.3 million. RM26 per Quran. Jakim is the Department of Islamic Development, Malaysia. It’s a Malaysian Government institution.

Now, if you’re in a 3-star hotel or above, you’re getting a Quran, courtesy of the Malaysian Government. Courtesy of your tax payer ringgit. I think there’s better ways to spend RM1.3 million of money from the rakyat – let’s feed and shelter the homeless, for a start.

Another healthy way the government of the day, is spending your hard earned tax ringgit!

Update: @nazroll tells me that this comes out of zakat payments, that only Muslims pay. I still believe there are better ways to spend zakat payments, but I don’t run the country, now do I? Zakat from the Malaysian government or Zakat via Wikipedia… Wikipedia describes zakat as “alms for the poor” – I don’t know how accurate that is, but if you’re staying in a 3-star hotel and above, you aren’t exactly poor ;)

Next up, time to read up on Islamic Banking/Economics. Looks like an interesting topic! (I mean I’m bombarded with signs about it, let’s see how it compares with regular banking)

Update 2: There was active chatter on Twitter! @ditesh tells us that the zakat is a tax credit, and Wikipedia explains the taxation behind it. @nazroll continues to tell us that development is OK, and people are curious to know how the money is spent, and it is available upon request. Lots worry about accountability, and @nazroll hits it spot on.