Muis distributes more than $2 million in endowment fund payouts to 60 beneficiaries

SINGAPORE - The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) paid out on Thursday morning $2.17 million to the 60 beneficiaries of its endowment funds.

Such an endowment fund, called wakaf, is a collection of donations or properties willed by Muslims toward religious or charitable purposes. Profits earned from investment of capital in these endowment funds are channelled back to beneficiaries.

On Thursday, 60 cheques were given to representatives of beneficiary organisations at Muis' annual disbursement ceremony. Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim was guest-of-honour at the event, which was held at Muis' Braddell Road premises.

The number of recipients was 66 - 17 more organisations than last year, said Muis chief executive Abdul Razak Hassan Maricar.

The beneficiaries include the six full-time Islamic religious schools - each called a madrasah - here; 11 residential institutions for children, aged and the aged sick; 19 charitable organisations that run services catering to the needs of the community and 30 mosques.

Mr Abdul Razak added that the disbursement of the funds was made possible by "the benevolence as well as the foresight of philanthropists who created wakaf as instruments to provide for the needs of our Muslim community".

Of the total sum disbursed this year, the mosques received the highest portion at $1,334,158. Muis said this is to "support their functions, administration and management, including upgrading and renovation works".

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