Madam Speaker to lead new committee to help drive Malay-Muslim leaders forum

Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob will chair a new advisory committee to assess how the decade-old Community Leaders Forum (CLF) can be improved to better serve the evolving needs of the Malay-Muslim community.

Some changes to the CLF, which serves as a platform to address community issues, could therefore be in the works, said Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister in charge of Muslim Affairs and chairman of the CLF Steering Committee.

The minister was speaking at a special forum held at the Furama Riverfront Hotel on Saturday to introduce the new committee.

Dr Yaacob added that the new committee will work towards providing a CLF roadmap by 2014 for a "cohesive community help ecosystem" and will serve a consultative role to help shape the CLF's strategies and policies.

The 12-person strong cross-sector committee, which will serve a three year term, will for instance advise on matters of governance, allocation of resources and the development of standards on programme management and outcome measurement.

Said Madam Halimah: "We hope to chart the progress of the community in line with the national agenda and encourage greater synergies among our partners for a real grounds-up initiative."

Dr Yaacob said a fresh pair eyes to look at things at a more systematic level will allow for greater insight to improve CLF processes.

"As a platform for social change, transformation and innovation, it is important that CLF remains relevant to meet the needs of the community," said Dr Yaacob.

Five new partners; the Al-Istiqamah Mosque, PAL Society, PCF Bukit Batok, Pertapis Community Services and Seek, were also welcomed on board. The new addition brings the total number of CLF partners, comprising voluntary organisations, schools and Family Service Centres.

Mr Azhar Sidek, 37, director of Seek, which runs mentorship programmes for youths aged 10 to 17, said he is happy to be part of the forum.

He said: "The funds we receive through CLF have been very useful in helping us run our three-year programmes for youths as they progress through different stages of school life."