SINGAPORE - Monthly contributions by Muslims to the Mosque Building and Mendaki Fund (MBMF) will increase from June 1.
The first revision to contributions since 2009 was announced by Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Dr Yaacob Ibrahim on Saturday (March 12) at the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore's (Muis) Workplan Seminar, at the Singapore Islamic Hub.
Contributions have been made more progressive, with an additional four tiers being introduced for those earning between $4,000 and $10,000.
Those earning between $4,000 and $6,000 will pay $19.50, an increase of $3.50, each month. Those earning more than $10,000 will contribute an additional $10, bringing their monthly total to $26. Workers earning under $1,000 a month will contribute an additional $1, making it $3 a month, while those earning between $1,000 and $2,000 will pay $4.50 instead of $3.50 before.
The revision is expected to increase annual contributions to the fund by $6 million, bringing the net annual contribution to $26.2 million. First introduced in 1975, the MBMF funds the construction and upgrading of mosques in Singapore. It also supports educational and social programmes by self-help group Mendaki and religious education initiatives for Muslims.
"This will go a long way to improving the socio-religious life of our community," said Dr Yaacob, who is also Minister for Communications and Information.
Due to increasing construction costs the current rate of contributions will not be able to support the construction and upgrading of mosques, said Muis chief executive Abdul Razak Maricar. The construction of Muhajirin Mosque, the first to be built under the Mosque Building Fund, cost $1.2 million when it was completed in 1976 while Al-Islah Mosque in Punggol, completed in 2015, cost $16.5 million.
"Some of our earlier mosques are in a state of disrepair and need to be rebuilt and equipped with new facilities," added Mr Abdul Razak.
The increased contribution to the MBMF will also help enhance madrasah education in Singapore and boost funding for self-help group Mendaki, which has been dipping into its reserves since 2013.
More information on the changes to the MBMF is available on the fund's website at www.mbmf.sg.
Muis and Mendaki have also produced a video entitled "Our Spirit of Giving", showcasing the generosity of the Malay/Muslim community. The online video highlights mosque volunteers such as Haji Hamri Hunar,who collected funds door-to-door to raise money for the construction of Muhajirin Mosque in the 1970s, and Ikhlas Bikers, a group of motorcyclists who help the needy.