SINGAPORE - For Mr Abdul Razak Hassan Maricar, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) has been his "family" since he joined the council in 2007 as secretary.
Mr Abdul Razak, 64, is set to step down as Muis chief executive and his deputy, Mr Esa Masood, 39, will take over from him on Jan 1.
In an interview with reporters on Tuesday (Dec 4), Mr Abdul Razak said: "In Muis we work as a family. We always share this vision that we have, and I have got a very good team that's been put in place in Muis.
"As a statutory board, we want to bring out the best, not just in terms of talent but also in terms of the passion to serve the community. I think that is important."
Mr Abdul Razak is retiring after 43 years in the public service, the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth said in a statement on Monday announcing the leadership transition in Muis, which looks after the administration and interests of the Muslim community here.
Mr Abdul Razak began his public service in social work before moving on to Muslim community matters, holding appointments in the Syariah Court and Community Relations Unit for the then Ministry of Community Development and Sports. He became Muis chief executive in August 2013.
When asked if he had any advice for Mr Esa as the new Muis chief executive, Mr Abdul Razak said it was important to address problems head on and constantly be prepared for unforeseen circumstances.
He also praised Mr Esa's creativity, but also underscored the need for the new chief executive to keep a close eye on programmes that are already in place.
"Every chief executive wants to be a man of his own, so you have got to give the young man the space to come up with creative ideas.
"But at the same time, there is a need to ensure continuity, to ensure that whatever programmes and services that have been rolled out are continuously reviewed and renewed so that they don't become outdated," said Mr Abdul Razak.
"There are always challenges on the horizon in which you have to be wary of, in which you have to be nimble and address head on before they become an issue."