As members of the public come forward to help flood victims, the last thing that people would expect is their help being blocked or hindered.
And yet, that is exactly what happened to a church when its cheque was rejected by Bank Muamalat in Seremban as it was deemed “not halal”.
Sin Chew reported that the issue came to light when a Seremban-based Chinese charity group, Wah Chai Association, tried to deposit a Maybank cheque for RM1,500 at Bank Muamalat.
The cheque was issued by the Agape Community Church to pay for remedial works at Lee Sam Road Chinese Cemetery in Seremban.
Because the bank did not have a checking machine, they tried to deposit the cheque over the counter.
In a press conference held on 26 Dec, Lobak state assemblyman Chew Seh Yong said the bank informed the association that the cheque could not be accepted on grounds that it was “not halal”.
The association then sought the help of Chew, and he accompanied its members to the bank on Thursday (Dec 23)
They tried and deposit the cheque again, but the cheque bounced again and the same reason was given – that the cheque was “not halal”.
Persistence Pays Off
Not giving up, Chew continued to engage the bank employees. After a discussion, the bank’s headquarters gave instruction to accept the cheque, citing “technical error” for earlier rejections.
Curious, Chew also asked the bank employees again why the cheque was rejected in the first place.
After several employees saw the name of the church printed on the cheque, they said unanimously that the bank would not accept it. Even if they went through the formalities again, the cheque would still be rejected. I repeatedly asked the reason. A supervisor came out to receive it and whispered that the cheque was ‘not halal’.
Lobak state assemblyman Chew Seh Yong on why the cheque was rejected
Chew said there should be no distinction between halal and non-halal cheques especially when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had promoted the concept of Keluarga Malaysia.
At the same time, Chew does not believe that it is the bank’s policy.
He blamed it on the bank’s little Napoleons and urged the bank to carry out internal investigations to avoid a recurrence of the incident.
At the same time, many expressed disbelief that cheques can be categorised into “halal” and “non-halal”.
Source : The Rakyat Post
In light of a recent incident that saw Bank Muamalat drawing flak over allegations of rejecting cheques for being non-halal, Malaysian Digital Economy Consumer Association secretary Shaani Abdullah says it is important for there to be a distinction between religion and organisation.
Speaking to the Vibes, Shaani explained that the law has already settled that companies cannot be Muslim.
Organisations can’t be Muslim; they don’t recite the shahadah to become Muslim.
“So, there’s no question for companies with regard to something being halal or non-halal,” Shaani said when contacted.
Even services, he says, cannot be categorised as halal or otherwise. Instead, they are either shariah-compliant or not.
Earlier yesterday, Bank Muamalat senior vice-president Muhamad Radzuan Ab Rahman held a press conference to address the allegations against the financial institution.
He suggested that earlier reports stating that the bank rejected a cheque for being non-halal are just a misunderstanding, and the financial instrument bounced due to technical issues.
Shaani said it was a good move by the bank to address the issue head-on and clarify the misunderstanding.
They have to clarify if it’s a misunderstanding. When things are misreported, people actually misunderstand, given that they assume organisations can be Muslim.
“But entities can’t have a religion; this must be understood,” Shaani said.
Additionally, given Bank Muamalat’s explanation that the cheques initially bounced due to an issue concerning the payee’s name not tallying with its system, Shaani said perhaps the bank could make things easier for clients.
He said in the event of such errors, if the bank account number does match the misspelled name, the bank could still accept the cheque.
“At this time, people actually need money in the form of donations.
“By speeding up this process, the bank would win goodwill, as opposed to the contrary,” Shaani said.
Meanwhile, Muslim Consumers Association chairman Nadzim Johan said unnecessary misunderstandings such as this one risk creating equally unnecessary mistrust among the public.
Thus, he praised Bank Muamalat for swiftly clarifying the matter.
Furthermore, given the fact that the cheque was initially issued as a donation to beautify a Chinese cemetery, Nadzim said there should not have been any problems in the first place.
“Over the past 25 years being part of NGOs and volunteering, I have never heard of such a thing.
“This issue merely involves a transaction in the form of a contribution. In Islam, if it’s in public interest, it is fine,” Nadzim told The Vibes.
Source : The Vibes
Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd today refuted a report of a cheque returned by Seremban Bank Muamalat for being not halal.
The bank stressed that cheques are not categorised as halal or not.
“As a banking institution, the bank accepts all valid cheques which have been completely and correctly filled,” it said in a statement.
It said the bank had contacted the customer in the case as there was a technical error in which the name of the association written in the cheque was different from the name registered.
“Following that, the customer was told to make the correction,” the statement read
According to the bank, any enquiry by the bank is aimed at complying with the existing banking procedures as well as for the purpose of safeguarding the interest of bank customers.
It said all parties in the case had reached an understanding that there was no element of halal or otherwise on the depositing of the cheque except the technical issue and isolated misunderstanding in a media conference today with
Bank Muamalat, Lobak assemblyman, Chew Seh Yong as well as the customer concerned.
“The parties involved agreed it was a misunderstanding which was not related to the issue of being halal or not and they jointly agreed that the information disseminated in the case was inaccurate,” it said.
Bank Muamalat president and chief executive officer, Khairul Kamarudin said the banking institution has always provided the best service to all parties regardless of religion and race.
“As an Islamic banking institution, the operation of Bank Muamalat is subject to the adherence of Syariah principles, nonetheless we provide our banking services to all eligible parties regardless of religion and race,” he said.