Ten highlights from the book '50 Defining Moments for the Malay/Muslim Community'

50 Defining Moments for the Malay/Muslim Community.
50 Defining Moments for the Malay/Muslim Community. ST PHOTO: YEO KAI WEN
Mdm Halimah binte Yacob, Speaker of Parliament, (centre), launching the book on Dec 7, 2015.
Mdm Halimah binte Yacob, Speaker of Parliament, (centre), launching the book on Dec 7, 2015.ST PHOTO: YEO KAI WEN

These are 10 moments from the new book published by the Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP) and Berita Harian, launched on Monday Dec 7.

1965 - Singapore's first President

When Singapore separated from Malaysia, Mr Yusof Ishak's loyalty to the new country convinced many Malays to stay put instead of migrating across the Causeway as some Malay elites had.

1966 - Singapore's first attorney-general appointed

Professor Ahmad Ibrahim drafted the Administration of Muslim Law Act (Amla) that safeguarded the religious rights of Muslims in personal matters like marriage and inheritance

1968 - Establishment of Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis)

Formed as a statutory board under Amla, Muis today handles a range of matters such as pilgrimage needs, overseeing religious education and the preaching of a moderate and inclusive Islam.

1982 - Formation of Mendaki

The first major collaboration between Malay/Muslim MPs, community leaders and the Government, self-help group Mendaki was established in 1982 to improve the educational status of Malay/Muslim students.

1983 - First Singaporean to play in a top European football league

Mr Fandi Ahmad signed on for Dutch club FC Groningen, scoring 10 goals in 29 games during his debut season.

1990 - First convention of Singapore Malay/Muslim professionals

Some 500 professionals turned up at this conference to discuss ideas for the community and the formation of another self-help group to help uplift the community. AMP was launched a year later.

2001 - Establishment of Mercy Relief

Set up as a humanitarian relief agency by the Adult Islamic Religious Students' Association of Singapore or Perdaus, led by Mr Masagos Zulkifli then, Mercy Relief was relaunched as an independent group in 2003. It has provided relief during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and other disasters.

2008 - Inclusion of Muslims in Human Organ Transplant Act

A ruling by Muis' fatwa committee in 2007 declared organ donation a life-saving act in line with Islamic teachings, paving the way for Muslims, previously exempt from the law on religious grounds, to be included under it a year later.

2013 - First female speaker

Elected an MP in 2001, Madam Halimah Yacob became a champion of workers' issues before being named as Singapore's first female Speaker of Parliament in 2013.

2015 - First madrasah students to be accepted to NUS Medicine

Both Amalina Ridzuan and Ahmad Abdurrahman spent 10 years in madrasahs studying both secular and Islamic subjects before being accepted into the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine this year.