Lawyer honoured for community work

Mr Latiff received the Jasa Cemerlang (Excellent Service) award at the Istana from President Tony Tan Keng Yam.
Mr Latiff received the Jasa Cemerlang (Excellent Service) award at the Istana from President Tony Tan Keng Yam.

Every Saturday, lawyer Latiff Ibrahim gathers a group of boys from the Muhammadiyah Welfare Home and takes them to the field at the Old Police Academy.

There, along with some of his friends and their sons, they will play a game of football.

The idea was for the boys from the Home, who might have family problems, to mix with other boys and gain confidence, said Mr Latiff.

Mr Latiff, who has served on the management committee of the Home for eight years, was yesterday honoured for his contributions to community work.

He won the Jasa Cemerlang (Excellent Service) award for his lifelong achievements and contributions to community work.

The 57-year-old has also served on the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore's (Muis) board of appeal for over two decades. The board hears appeals against the decisions of the Syariah Court and the Registry of Muslim Marriages.

Mr Latiff received his award from President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the annual Muis Awards ceremony held at the Istana yesterday afternoon.

It was attended by Minister-in- charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim and about 200 guests.

Mr Latiff, who is Dr Yaacob's younger brother, said he finds helping underprivileged children and families "very satisfying".

"The challenge is phenomenal - every child, every family is important... In this sector, I think one can only try your best and just push on. You should never leave anyone behind," he said.

Muis chief executive Abdul Razak Maricar said Mr Latiff has made deep contributions in law, arbitration and social entrepreneurship.

"He is also a firm believer in helping the underprivileged and youth from challenged backgrounds," said Mr Abdul Razak.

Yesterday, awards for long service to the community were given to seven other winners.

A $100,000 cheque was also given to Dr Tan for the President's Challenge. This was raised by Rahmatan Lil Alamin Foundation, which was set up by Muis in 2005 to help the needy regardless of race or religion.

Mr Abdul Razak said: "The eight individuals whom we honour today have served the community in our beloved socio-religious institutions, such as the mosques, as well as our partners - the Malay/Muslim organisations that further the welfare and well-being of the Muslim community."

Danson Cheong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 09, 2016, with the headline 'Lawyer honoured for community work'. Print Edition | Subscribe