Jamiyah Singapore to make Guinness World Record bid with 'hearty' celebrations

SINGAPORE - A Singapore charity is planning to set a new Guinness World Record with a lot of heart.

A total of 8,525 paper hearts, to be exact.

In celebration of its 85th anniversary, Jamiyah Singapore will display the chain of hearts stretching 1.02km on May 13 in a bid to get the record for "Longest chain of paper hearts".

The charity, which runs four welfare homes and eight education centres island-wide as well as other community service projects, will host a two-day celebration at the open field adjacent to Eunos Bus Interchange on May 13 and 14 weekend.

More than 25 institutions are taking part in the world record attempt, in which messages to mothers will be written on every paper heart.

Madam Nora Rustham, chairman of Jamiyah's Women and Family Department, said: "We wanted to do something for the children to express their love for their mothers."

That's because the event coincides with the charity's 25th annual Exemplary Mother Award, which honours mothers who in the face of difficulties contribute to society while raising their families.

Nominations will be launched on Mother's Day on May 14. Forms will be made available to the public to nominate outstanding mothers.

Established in 1932, Jamiyah Singapore, also known as the Muslim Missionary Society Singapore, holds year-long celebrations every five years to celebrate its anniversary. This year, Jamiyah intends to host 5,000 people at the event.

The charity also intends to give back to the community through a dry food donation drive, and pledge cards to raise $200,000 throughout the event.

Member of Parliament for Marine Parade, Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef, who is the May 13 guest of honour, will launch a project in which new curtains will be put up for free in more than 85 one-room rental flats for the upcoming Hari Raya season.

President of Jamiyah Singapore, Dr Mohd Hasbi Abu Bakar, said: "We're constantly trying to reach out to as many people as possible.

"We want to enhance the economic status of the poor and needy from all races and faith."

There will also be a motorcade and walk-a-jog on May 14.

Cyclists, bikers, vintage cars, Lamborghini cars and walk-a-jog participants will set off from Jamiyah's headquarters and four welfare homes and finish at the carnival's location.

The routes all add up to 85km, said Mr S. Tiwari, director and consultant of Jamiyah Nursing Home.

"Every one kilometre signifies one year of Jamiyah's commitment to the community."

Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin, who will be the guest of honour on May 14, will be meeting the motorcade and walk-a-jog participants at the end point.

With a focus on community this year, Mr Abdul Halim Aliman, director of superintendent of Jamiyah Children's Home, said the organisation's purpose is to serve and help the community.

Mr Abdul Halim, who is also director of Community Outreach and Development, said: "We want to remain relevant, and we will continue to be relevant to meet the needs of society and the community in the face of disruptive changes in the economy."