SINGAPORE - The success of self-help group Mendaki's community efforts was made possible in part due to the support from the outgoing Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) chief executive Abdul Razak Hassan Maricar, 64.
Mr Abdul Razak is set to step down from Jan 1 and will be suceeded by his deputy Esa Masood, 39.
Thanking Mr Abdul Razak on Tuesday (Dec 4) for his service, Mendaki held up his "excellent" leadership of Muis and his dedication to the betterment of the Muslim community.
It also commended his efforts that helped position Muis - the statutory board that looks after the administration and interests of Singapore's Muslim community - to be an important collaborator with various community agencies, including Mendaki.
"In his six-year term, Haji Abdul Razak has steered Muis to be a strong partner to community agencies like Yayasan Mendaki and other Malay/Muslim organisations," said Mendaki in a media statement.
"With his support, Mendaki's programmes and services could reach out to the community through our satellite centres located within four mosques."
Mendaki highlighted how Muis is a "generous contributor" for the Education Trust Fund - a Mendaki fund that supports students from disadvantaged families through subsidies, bursaries and financial assistance.
"Under his leadership, Muis has supported many programmes aimed at developing our Muslim youths through education," said Mendaki.
It was announced on Monday by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth that Mr Abdul Razak will be retiring on Dec 31, after 43 years in the public service.
He began his public service in social work before moving to Muslim community matters, holding appointments in the Syariah Court and the Community Relations Unit for the then Ministry of Community Development and Sports. He joined Muis as secretary in 2007.
Mendaki also on Tuesday congratulated Mr Esa, who joined Muis late last year, on his appointment as the incoming chief executive.
"We look forward to further expand and strengthen our partnership with Muis. We are confident that under Mr Esa's leadership, Muis will reach greater heights in building a Muslim community of excellence," it said.
Mr Esa, who is married with two children, has held leadership appointments in various organisations, including the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Education, and Early Childhood Development Agency.
He was a Public Service Commission Scholar and holds a Master's in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In a Facebook post on Monday, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli congratulated Mr Esa, saying that he was "sharp, but humble and open to ideas".
"I am confident that he, together with his team of dedicated colleagues, will bring Muis to greater heights in fulfilling the socio-religious needs of our Muslim community and strengthening Singapore's social cohesion," Mr Masagos said.