Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd has denied claims that it refused to accept a cheque from a customer last week because it was not “halal”.
According to The Star, its Head of Banking Operations Muhamad Radzuan Rahman said the bank has no power to certify a cheque as “halal” or “non halal”, and they only rejected the cheque because the name of the payee as written was not the same as the one registered in its system.
In a press conference, Radzuan said Bank Muamalat is a financial institution that provides banking services including cheque clearing and it is their responsibility to accept any cheque.
“That particular cheque was initially rejected purely due to a technical reason,” he said, adding that the issue was due to a misunderstanding.
Radzuan was responding to Lobak assemblyman Chew Seh Yong and Wah Chai Association representatives as there were claims that the association’s cheque had been rejected in Lobak, Negeri Sembilan, after issuing RM1,500 for the beautification of a Chinese cemetery.
Initial reports said the cheque had been allegedly rejected as it was “not halal”.
Meanwhile, Radzuan explained that the bank wanted more clarifications on the purpose of the donation and the source as required under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, but the Wah Chai representative deposited the cheque at a deposit box and did not interact with any bank officer.
“It was then we discovered that the name of the payee on the cheque and in our system did not match.”
“So, we called and asked them to take the cheque back,” he said.
Radzuan said Chew tried to bank in the cheque for a second time and the bank received clearance to accept it from its headquarters.
He then said this incident is due to a misunderstanding, adding that the bank needs to know the purposed of the cheque and its source to comply with legal requirements.
“So there must have been an issue of how parties interpreted the situation and this was probably how the words ‘halal’ or ‘non-halal’ came about.”
“Also, we do not know if these were uttered as we were not there,” he said.
After which, Chew said he and Wah Chai Association accepted the bank’s explanation and would put the matter to rest.
“We had a very cordial discussion and the matter has been resolved.”
“In fact, I also received a call from the bank on Friday evening telling me they will accept the cheque,” he added.