KUALA LUMPUR: Palestinian ambassador to Malaysia Walid Abu Ali yesterday dropped a bombshell, claiming donations raised by Malaysian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) had failed to reach the Al Aqsa Mosque fund for years.
Only donations raised by the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) had been accounted for.
Walid said Malaysians should know the truth and ask where their donations to help the Palestinians had gone to.
“Some NGOs in Malaysia, they focused on supporting Palestinians, supporting people in Gaza by raising donations.
“I mean, you contribute. You raised the money, but did you ever ask who received the money? Who benefited from it? No one knows,” he said during a courtesy call to the New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Bhd.
Walid said the “missing” donations could be confirmed by those who handled them.
“There are so many NGOs in Malaysia and they have raised money for the Al Aqsa Mosque. But, the money was never received,” he added.
Some money went missing, he said, when people in fundraising efforts took their share to cover their cost, which sometimes came up to 40 per cent, despite knowing all should be channelled to the mosque.
Walid, who expressed concern over the matter, said more efforts should be made to ensure that money raised would go to the intended recipients.
“It is good (to donate), but make sure your money reaches the right beneficiaries and use the right channels, including via the embassy or the Jordanian and Palestinian Waqf Ministries that are in charge of funding the Al Aqsa Mosque.”
He said the embassy had taken measures in ensuring contributions were made through proper channels.
“After meeting Mais, the council has come up with terms and conditions for those who wish to collect funds to ensure that the recipients get the money,” he said, adding that the embassy and Mais had set up a waqf fund to buy properties in Al Quds.
“We encourage all Muslims countries to invest in Al Quds, especially in buying properties at the holy land, which will ensure that the Israelis will not take over the holy land,” he said.
The courtesy call, led by NSTP chairman Tan Sri Ismail Omar, was joined by NST group editor Ahmad Lokman Mansor, Harian Metro group editor Husain Jahit, and Berita Harian content and digital executive editor M. Thillinadan, as well as representatives from MyAqsa.
Among the topics discussed were calling for Malaysians to stand in solidarity against United States President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” and the affirmative decision by the Palestinian government to ensure that the Al Aqsa Mosque was accessible to all Muslims.