Gift hampers and Ramadan bonuses to bring Hari Raya cheer to Muis beneficiaries

Aminah Delima Rais, 46, receives a hamper from Muis Deputy Chief Executives Dr Albakri Ahmad (third from right) and Esa Masood (right).
Aminah Delima Rais, 46, receives a hamper from Muis Deputy Chief Executives Dr Albakri Ahmad (third from right) and Esa Masood (right).ST PHOTO: LIN ZHAOWEI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE -After her first husband died 14 years ago, and her second walked out on the family recently, Madam Aminah Delima Rais was left to bring up eight children, aged six to 18, on her own.

She became a Grab driver in 2016, working overnight shifts to put her kids through school and food on the table.

When she was diagnosed with liver enlargement early this year, the worry threatened to become overwhelming.

"They depend on me. When anything happens to me, my first thought is, what about the children?" said Madam Aminah, 46.

But she can rest a little easier as she will get more help through the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore's (Muis) monthly Zakat Financial Assistance.

Madam Aminah will receive $650 each month from July, an increase from the amount she used to get, as she is now the sole breadwinner of the family.

Some 4,700 families will receive monthly zakat assistance from September.

Of these, 700 are either new recipients or who, like Madam Aminah, will receive more. The new recipients will benefit from a revision in the eligibility criteria raising the qualifying per capita income in each household from $350 to $400.

Muis said it was able to give out more because of a 10 per cent increase in Zakat donations this year. Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam, and these donations are obligatory contributions of Muslims' income.

Madam Aminah's family was also one of 4,300 who received Ramadan bonuses from Muis' Ramadan Disbursement of $2.3 million this year.

Some $56,000 was also used to purchase Hari Raya Aidilfitri hampers for beneficiaries.

Madam Aminah received a cash bonus of $1,000 and two gift hampers. She and the children plan to celebrate Hari Raya with their neighbours in Toa Payoh.

"I'm happy that at least now I can address some of my children's wants," she said "like having the house painted in preparation for Hari Raya."

Deputy Chief Executives of Muis, Dr Albakri Ahmad and Mr Esa Masood, presented the gift hampers to Madam Aminah on Tuesday.

Mr Esa Masood said: "It is thanks to the generosity of the Muslim community that the beneficiaries are able to get the assistance they need."