Muis gets record $3m wakaf income

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) received a record $3.01 million in wakaf income from sources such as rentals and investments last year and it will be shared with the Muslim community.

The record disbursement was an almost $200,000, or 7.8 per cent, surge from last year's amount.

At the annual Muis wakaf disbursement ceremony yesterday, Muis chief executive Abdul Razak Maricar urged: "Let us take this opportunity to reflect on how our forefathers have sacrificed and contributed to the ummah (Muslim community)."

Up to half of the $3.01 million will be channelled to 27 mosques to fund their daily operations and upgrading projects.

Madrasahs - schools for Islamic instruction - will be the second largest group of recipients, receiving close to $400,000. A beneficiary such as Madrasah Al-Arabiah Al-Islamiah will be able to use the funds to enable students to attend attachment programmes and participate in competitions.

Thirty voluntary welfare organisations - including Casa Raudha, which runs a women's shelter, and Madanis, a programme for Muslim children with special needs - are also set to get $388,000.

Madanis' head of programmes Syarifah Samsubahar said of its future plans: "We hope to go beyond basic Islamic programmes to those that can benefit the community."

Amid the celebratory statements, however, Haji Abdul Razak also cautioned Muis against being complacent about its success, as economic projections remain bleak.

He cited the example of Warees Investments Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Muis which rents out mostly pre-war shophouses to interested tenants, an income source which greatly bolstered the wakaf increase this year. It will be more difficult to retain quality tenants now with the softening of the commercial property market, he said.

To ensure the sanctity and sustainability of wakaf, Haji Abdul Razak said: "As the custodian of wakaf in Singapore, Muis has a fiduciary duty to govern wakaf well ...We will be strengthening governance for the sector."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 02, 2016, with the headline 'Muis gets record $3m wakaf income'. Print Edition | Subscribe