575 families given cash, vouchers for Ramadan

Mr Ng Chee Meng with four-year-old Aliya Natasha at a store in Tanjong Katong Complex. She was among 80 children from low-income families in Punggol North who were taken to the mall for a shopping trip. The children also received new baju kurungs.
Mr Ng Chee Meng with four-year-old Aliya Natasha at a store in Tanjong Katong Complex. She was among 80 children from low-income families in Punggol North who were taken to the mall for a shopping trip. The children also received new baju kurungs.ST PHOTO: FELINE LIM

Needy families received aid yesterday at several events to celebrate the spirit of Ramadan.

The Muslim Converts' Association of Singapore disbursed more than $209,000 in cash and vouchers to 575 families to help them during the fasting month and in preparation for the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations.

Each family received $255 from zakat, an annual tithe given by Muslims to the needy, as well as $110 in FairPrice vouchers and a sponsored goodie bag containing meat and other food items. One-fifth of the recipients are Muslim converts, while the rest are Muslim-born.

First-time beneficiary Nur Ain Peng Abdullah, 43, a patient service associate at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, said the money will go a long way towards helping her and her three children. "This will help a lot with household expenses, pocket money and Hari Raya clothes for the children," she added.

About 80 children from low-income families in Punggol North received new baju kurungs, a traditional Malay outfit. They were also taken on a shopping trip to Tanjong Katong Complex, sponsored by the Punggol North CCC Community Development Welfare Fund Committee and Punggol 21 Malay Activity Executive Committee.

Education Minister (Schools) Ng Chee Meng, who is an MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, told reporters: "Besides taking care of each other, this is an effort in building community bonds. Where we have inter-racial bonds, we can develop trust."

Trust leads to social cohesion and the strength to combat the growing threat of terrorism, he added.

Zakat funds were also distributed at an iftar session, or the breaking of fast, in Marsiling that was attended by about 4,000 residents. The event entered the Singapore Book Of Records for the largest distribution of food for iftar.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 05, 2017, with the headline '575 families given cash, vouchers for Ramadan'. Print Edition | Subscribe