Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development and Minister-in-charge for Muslim Affairs (a) whether there is an internal investigation conducted in 2019/2020 on allegations of abuse of power in Madrasah Irsyad Zuhri by the former Senior Director of Madrasah in MUIS who was also the CEO of Irsyad Trust Limited since 2014; (b) if so, what is the outcome of that internal investigation; and (c) whether there is an out-of-court settlement between MUIS and Irsyad Trust Limited on monies and intellectual property rights belonging to Madrasah Irsyad Zuhri being wrongfully used to profit Irsyad Trust Limited.
Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development and Minister-in-charge for Muslim Affairs (a) whether the financial reports for Madrasah Irsyad Zuhri Al-Islamiah and Irsyad Trust Limited for FY2013 to FY2020 are made public; (b) whether there was any transfer of funds from Madrasah Irsyad Zuhri Al-Islamiah to Irsyad Trust Limited between FY2013 and FY2020; and (c) if so, how much was the amount and what was the reason for this transfer.
Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development and Minister-in-charge for Muslim Affairs (a) who established Irsyad Trust Limited; and (b) whether Irsyad Trust is or was an affiliate of Madrasah Irsyad.
Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs & Minister for Social and Family Development:
- There is currently no affiliation between Irsyad Trust Limited and Madrasah Irsyad.
- Irsyad Trust Limited – or ITL – was established as a separate company in 2006 by Madrasah Irsyad’s Madrasah Management Committee (MMC). The ITL was then known as Irsyad Foundation Limited.
- It was later in August 2008, that Muis brought Madrasah Irsyad Zuhri Al-Islamiah into the Joint Madrasah System (JMS) – along with Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah and Madrasah Arabiah Al-Islamiah.
- Notwithstanding the formation of JMS, Madrasah Irsyad’s MMC continued to oversee Madrasah Irsyad’s fundraising efforts. These included international projects in training and education carried out by the Madrasah. Funds raised from these projects went towards supporting Madrasah Irsyad’s local operations. In 2014, Madrasah Irsyad’s MMC moved its international functions to ITL.
- However, during an annual audit done in 2016 of Madrasah Irsyad’s accounts, it was found that MMC had endorsed a transfer of S$2 million to ITL for its international operations. Muis requested ITL to repay the monies to the Madrasah. ITL returned the S$2 million in full to the Madrasah in 2016.
- Following a review in 2020, Madrasah Irsyad decided to de-prioritise its international projects. Therefore, the Madrasah and ITL agreed that both institutions would no longer be affiliated with each other from January 2021, and ITL can no longer use Madrasah Irsyad’s branding for its international projects.
- Muis has directed a review of the financial transactions between Madrasah Irsyad and ITL. That review is ongoing. Depending on the findings of the review, Muis will consider whether further actions need to be taken.
- It is currently not the practice for madrasahs to publish their financial statements. However, the Management Committee of each JMS madrasah is required to audit their financial accounts and submit their financial statements to Muis.
- In 2019/2020, the JMS Board of Governors conducted an internal investigation on staff matters at Madrasah Irsyad arising from a complaint. The complaint was not related to ITL or the former Senior Director of Muis’ Madrasah department who resigned from Muis in 2016.