SINGAPORE - The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) announced the appointments of four new members to its governing council on Tuesday (July 26),
One of the four is a woman, which brings the number of women members in the governing council to four, up from three in the previous term.
Madam Rahayu Mohamad, 49, President of Singapore Muslim Women's Association (PPIS), is one of the new faces among the 15 Muis council members appointed by President Tony Tan Keng Yam for a three-year term, starting on Aug 7.
Current council member, Dr Rufaihah Abdul Jalil, 37, Senior Research Fellow at Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, welcomes the appointment of Madam Rahayu, who has experience in the social sector, specifically, on women's issues.
Dr Rufaihah said: "It is necessary to have women in the council as we provide different perspectives on issues that crop up during council meetings."
The other new faces are Dr Syed Harun Taha Alhabsyi, 31, a doctor undergoing psychiatry residency, Mr Arzami Salim, 52, President of Singapore Malay Teachers' Union (KGMS) and Mr Helmi Ali, 56, Vice President of the Arab Association.
Mr Arzami, an education officer at Hwa Chong International School, saw this appointment as an opportunity to add to Muis' discussion on pedagogy and education, specifically on the possibility of an Islamic college and the introduction of International Baccalaureate for madrasah students.
The appointments to the 17th Muis council were announced on Tuesday (July 26) during a dinner held at the Singapore Islamic Hub in Braddell Road.
Under the Administration of Muslim Law Act, Minister-in-Charge of Muslim Affairs, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim recommended six council members while various Muslim organisations proposed nine.
The top Islamic authority, the Mufti, is also on the council by law.
The council sets the general direction for the national organisation that oversees the religious affairs of Muslims here.
Speaking at the appreciation dinner for the outgoing council, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim acknowledged the contribution of the previous council.
He said: "With the diversity in terms of age and breadth of experience, I am confident that Muis Council members will be able to provide the strong and necessary support needed so as to move towards our vision of a Muslim Community of Excellence."