SINGAPORE: The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) will spend S$30 million from the zakat or Muslim tithe fund, to help the poor and needy over the next three years.
That is a 20 per cent increase, compared to the amount spent in the last three years.
Apart from funding social development programmes and handing out direct financial assistance, new initiatives will also be introduced to help empower low-income families to be more self-reliant.
MUIS collected a total of S$25.6 million in zakat last year.
Minister for Muslim Affairs Dr Yaacob Ibrahim was speaking at the MUIS Workplan Seminar on Saturday, which maps out important initiatives for the Malay-Muslim community for the next three years.
Dr Yaacob said some 5,500 needy individuals and families will benefit from the allocation.
He said: "That has always been our focus. Both MUIS and Mendaki are now going to expand a lot of our programmes for the needy. So MUIS will step up the zakat empowerment programme, to reach out to more families and spend more time with their children so that they also can move towards healthy functioning."
MUIS President, Mohd Alami Musa, commented: "We find that with rising cost of living, we need to increase our disbursement to the poor and needy. Also more people are coming to our mosques to seek help, so overall we disburse more. But we have made a promise to the community that the more zakat that we collect, the more people that we can help, the more that we are going to disburse." - CNA/xq
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