More zakat funds to support the needy and social assistance programmes: Dr Yaacob

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) will set aside more zakat funds to provide financial assistance for the needy and support other social assistance programmes, said Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim on Saturday.

Dr Yaacob, speaking at Muis' Annual Workplan Seminar, said that in the next three years, some $30 million from zakat funds - the annual tithe collection from the Muslim community - will be spent on needy and low-income individuals, an increase of 20 per cent from its previous three-year plan.

More than 5,000 low-income families benefit from financial assistance through zakat funds yearly.

And as part of its three-year plan, a greater focus will also be given to religious education with 17,000 more places for young Muslims to undergo Islamic learning to be added between 2013 and 2015.