Muis raises per capita income cap for assistance, to help 1,000 more families

SINGAPORE - About 1,000 more Muslim families will be eligible for financial assistance, after the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) announced on Tuesday that it will broaden the qualifying criteria.

The monthly per capita income cap will be raised from $300 to $350. The amount of assistance given will also be increased by $30 a month.

These changes, to take effect from August, will cost Muis an additional $2.57 million in zakat funds - the annual tithe contributed by Muslims here - each year.

Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, announced this at a Ramadan bonus disbursement ceremony at Muis' premises in Braddell Road on Tuesday.

Speaking in Malay to about 240 people from needy families, he said Muis' review of the criteria and amount of zakat assistance took into account inflation.

As part of this year's annual Ramadan bonus disbursement, more than $1.4 million from the zakat funds will be given to 9,729 recipients. The amount is about 8.2 per cent more than that given last year, mainly because the Ramadan bonus has been extended to more recipients from welfare homes.

Last year, Muis collected about $28.4 million in zakat contributions.