SINGAPORE - Muslim voluntary welfare organisation Perdaus has set itself a new goal - to strengthen the family as an institution - given concerns that family bonds are weakening and being challenged by the demands of modern living. It is but the latest in what has been an ever-evolving set of tasks for the organisation which was set up 50 years ago to instil greater awareness of Islam in the wider community.
Speaking yesterday at its 50th anniversary celebrations, Senior Minister of State (Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs) Masagos Zulkifli traced Perdaus' many areas of focus over the years as it worked to deliver new programmes to meet the needs of a new generation.
Its activities also included efforts to engage the larger Singapore society and this culminated in the establishment in 2001 of the humanitarian organisation Mercy Relief. It became an independent organisation in 2003.
The innovativeness of its programmes and sense of mission has been a key factor to Perdaus' longevity, said Mr Masagos, who was Perdaus president from 1999 to 2006.
It was now again at a crossroads, and has decided to tackle the challenge of strengthening family bonds.
"Building on its core strengths, Perdaus will embark on its mission to inspire consciousness, nurture lives, empower families and build communities towards its vision of a righteous society," he said.
"The Perdaus story is an inspiring one. It is a reflection of how ordinary Singaporeans can make a difference through collective dedication to a common purpose, having the passion to serve and the innovative spirit to constantly find new ways of doing things."
He also presented awards to three early pioneers of Perdaus, Mr Hassan Abdul Majid, Mr Mohamed Ayub Johari, and Ustaz Idris Ahmad at a separate tea reception, although Ustaz Idris was not able to attend the ceremony.
In remarks at that ceremony, he said Perdaus' longevity was also due to its willingness to continually adapt and have a strong belief in the power of youth.
Over the years, many had the opportunity to develop their leadership potential and serve the community. He was glad many of them continued to contribute to the community and to Singapore, whether in Perdaus or in other roles.