KUALA LUMPUR: The Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) is targeting to collect RM700mil in zakat (tithe) this year.
MAIWP chairman Datuk Seri Syed Hussien Alhabshee said the council managed to achieve RM650mil in zakat collection last year.
“We expect that the economic slowdown due to the pandemic will affect zakat collection this year. On the contrary, it has been extraordinary.
“Zakat collection has increased by 20% up to October this year, ” he told newsmen after handing over MAIWP Prihatin Kasih Asnaf aid to underprivileged communities.
Syed Hussien shared that part of the zakat collection was used to help various groups living in Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya.
In his speech earlier, he said: “We don’t misuse a single sen of your zakat.”
Syed Hussien also shared that MAIWP was aware of the burden and difficulties faced by the asnaf (underprivileged group), hence the council has offered them aid in various forms.
Under the Musaadah (Assistance) Mission Covid-19 activated by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri, RM72.81mil of zakat funds have been spent by MAIWP.
Syed Hussien revealed that MAIWP has allocated special zakat funds amounting to RM38.98mil under the MAIWP Prihatin 3.0 Kasih Asnaf initiative.
Of the figure, he said, RM9.5mil was for emergency zakat aid to help 19,000 recipients comprising taxi drivers, security guards, small traders, unemployed and those adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
There is also RM16.3mil special zakat to assist 32,520 asnaf beneficiaries in the three federal territories, in the form of monthly financial aid, medical needs and monthly house rental, he said.
“Each head of these families receives RM500 per month, ” he highlighted.
Funds amounting to RM4mil were given to 800 mosques and surau in the federal territories for their management and activities during the conditional movement control order period.
Among others, 48 tahfiz institutions and protection centres received RM5,000 each to help their students, trainers and the management of these institutions during the pandemic.
He said all the zakat assistance would be channelled to the targeted groups in stages before Dec 31 this year.
Besides that, MAIWP also contributed RM20.51mil in food and accommodation rental aid for poor undergraduates from four public universities – which benefits 1,399 students from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Kuala Lumpur, 1,230 students from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Kuala Lumpur, 500 Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia students and 1,000 Universiti Malaya students.
There is also RM8mil allocated for school uniform and stationery for 24,039 students in the three federal territories.
MAIWP also handed over a RM50,000 contribution to Lembaga Kebajikan Perempuan Islam Malaysia, as well as for the training and skills certification programme for the visually impaired community.
Some 6,000 parents from MAIWP kindergartens enjoy reduced fees in November and December.
The council also handed over motorcycles to two disabled people for use in running their small business, costing RM18,220.
Syed Hussien also highlighted that MAIWP provided assistance in the form of education (running professional courses) and “asnafpreneur” (training to begin start-ups) to improve their livelihood and rise above their B40 status.
“We trained 90 asnafpreneurs last year. This year, we approved training for 50 asnafpreneurs, ” he added.
On other programmes under SME Corp to develop asnaf groups, he said MAIWP would select 30 asnafs to undergo the “Warung Rider” e-platform delivery service programme.
“I attended the launch of Warung Rider programme by the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative Minister on Wednesday. This will be exactly like Grab Food and FoodPanda but it will be much cheaper in terms of delivery. I am very proud of this as it is a homegrown platform, ” he added.
Meanwhile, security guard Muhammad Aiman Saw Abdullah, 57, a representative of RKN Security, expressed his gratitude over aid received from zakat this year.
“I get RM450 each month, and this is really helpful to support my family. I am too happy as my monthly salary of RM1,800 will be cut if I have no job, ” said Mohd Aiman who has been a security guard for the past seven years. The father of two is on duty at the Bangunan Perkim.