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Building our future together as a Community of Success

Speech by Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources & Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs at Minister’s Virtual Hari Raya Get-Together 2020

Community leaders,
Distinguished colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen,

  1. Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh. Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Thank you for joining me for our virtual Hari Raya get-together. We may all be in separate locations this year, but we remain united and together in spirit. Tonight, I am proud to share this space with representatives from various community institutions. You have all played very crucial roles, particularly in the past few months, to rally the community and build up our resilience, as we battle against COVID-19.
  2. Last year, I spoke about the traits that have made our Malay/Muslim community, a Community of Success – namely a community with the strength of character, with the competence to contribute, and with a strong sense of citizenry. Indeed, the last few months of standing in rank with our fellow citizens, was how we tested the mettle of a Community of Success. We made difficult adjustments to our social and religious norms to contain the spread of COVID-19, to pull our weight like everyone in our country to keep Singapore safe. We also pulled together community resources to provide holistic support to the vulnerable among us. It was not easy to adapt to this uncertain situation, but I am glad that we have stayed united, compassionate, and civic-minded.

    Our community through COVID-19

  3. I want to put on record how proud I am in the way our community responded to the COVID-19 pandemic thus far. First of these are the adjustments we made to our religious duties. We received support in closing our mosques, foregoing congregational prayers for Jumaat and Terawih, postponing our Haj to next year, and when we opted for solemnisations via video link. This was only possible because Muis, together with many asatizah and medical professionals from the Muslim Healthcare Professionals Association worked together, in close consultation with community and mosque leaders, as well as stakeholders such as AMTAS, to help formulate and communicate these decisions. Indeed, our doctors have proactively produced entertaining and educational videos to guide the community on how to stay safe during these challenging times, often in collaboration with our asatizah. In a crisis like this, had they been divided, the society will be confused and disunited. Instead they enabled decisive timely announcements to be made by Muis, to steward our community confidently as new decisions were made by the Multi-Ministry Task Force, as the crisis developed and unfolded.
  4. I would also like to thank Ministry of Health in supporting our community. We have Dr Zubaidah Said with us in the virtual room this evening. She is part of the team that is spearheading contact tracing efforts at MOH. Busy as she is, she set aside some time last February, to engage our mosque and madrasah leaders on the precautionary measures needed to prevent clusters from forming at our places of worship. Director of Medical Services, Prof Kenneth Mak and Director of Communicable Diseases Division, Associate Prof Vernon Lee were always responsive when we needed to consult them.
  5. We also made big adjustments in our socio-religious affairs during the 8 weeks of stay-at-home Circuit Breaker. We donated online through the OurMasjid.sg portal to sustain our mosques and their staff. The Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry worked with our businesses, Muis, People’s Association volunteers and many other organisations to cook and distribute food for buka puasa meals for 20,000 frontliners and needy families on a daily basis. Together, we raised $3 million for it. When Syawal came, we refrained from visiting each other and connected with our loved ones digitally. Let us watch a video of our collective memory of a Ramadan and Syawal celebrated with the COVID-19 crisis in the background.
  6. Ladies and gentlemen, as shown in the video, this crisis has taught us one important lesson. For each milestone decision we made during this crisis for our community, the asatizah community played a pivotal role both in formulating solutions as well as in leading the community. They have been a reliable pillar of support in getting the community to behave and react in exemplary ways in this crisis. The symbiosis of our own community producing our own asatizah and the asatizah in turn shaping our community is one important element in building our Community of Success. Our asatizah is key in nurturing a community of praiseworthy character. That is why I want to dedicate this year’s Hari Raya message on building and supporting our religious sector. Allow me to continue in Malay.

    Peri pentingnya sektor keagamaan

  7. Saudara saudari sekalian, asatizah kita memainkan peranan penting dalam membimbing dan memberi sokongan rohani kepada masyarakat kita. Mereka telah lama membuktikan kebolehan mereka. Kini mereka membuktikan pentingnya peranan mereka dalam mengharungi krisis COVID-19 yang mencabar ini. Keupayaan mereka bukanlah terbina dalam sehari – tetapi lahir dari tekad dan usaha pemimpin-pemimpin masyarakat terdahalu sepanjang berdekad-dekad lamanya. Begitulah lama masanya yang diperlukan untuk  kepakaran ilmu agama matang, hingga asatizah kita tangkas memberi panduan dan memimpin masyarakat dalam hal-ehwal keagamaan dalam konteks yang unik  di Singapura. Kita telah lama melabur untuk memperkukuhkan institusi agama kita sambil mengasah dan meningkatkan taraf asatizah kita hari ini. Meskipun begitu, banyak lagi yang kita mesti dan boleh lakukan untuk memperkukuhkan lagi institusi dan sektor keagamaan kita. Ini menjadi inti ucapan Hari Raya saya tahun ini.
  8. Saya bermula dengan melakarkan visi jangka panjang untuk sektor keagamaan kita. Mufti ialah pegawai di puncak kepimpinan agama dan beliau menentukan hala tujunya di Singapura. Mufti juga memantau semua hal-ehwal keagamaan yang dipegang jawatan dua Timbalan Mufti, Dekan Akademi Muis, Presiden Kanan Mahkamah Syariah dan Pendaftar Pejabat Pernikahan Orang-orang Islam. Pada masa-masa hadapan, Mufti harus dipilih daripada kalangan pegawai yang menyandang lima jawatan tersebut setelah meraih ilmu dan pengalaman yang luas. Kelima-lima pegawai ini pula memantau pelbagai laluan bagi asatizah kita. Lama-kelamaan, saya harap para asatizah juga dapat bergilir tempat untuk ke laluan-laluan yang lain demi meluaskan pengalaman mereka sambil mendalami ilmu dan mendapat pengiktirafan bagi kemahiran dalam semua bidang kerja tersebut.
  9. Pada April lalu, Muis telah melancarkan Rangka Kerjaya dan Kecekapan (CCF). Ia merupakan sebuah rancangan di bawah Pelan Pembangunan Tenaga Kerja Asatizah (AWDP), yang berpandukan saranan oleh Jawatankuasa Asatizah Masa Depan (COFA) yang telah diterajui oleh Menteri Negara Kanan Dr Maliki Osman. Dengan CCF, para pegawai di sektor keagamaan akan lebih faham mengenai peluang-peluang pekerjaan serta kemahiran, kecekapan dan pentauliahan yang perlu bagi pelbagai tugas dalam sektor tersebut. Ini merangkumi dasar dan pembangunan agama, pendidikan, pembangunan masjid dan masyarakat, serta perundangan dan pembangunan keluarga. Semua ini memerlukan pemahaman dalam bidang-bidang seperti kaunseling, kerja sosial, dan juga perundangan keluarga Islam. CCF merupakan peta kerjaya bagi seorang siswazah yang mungkin bermula sebagai pegawai di masjid, sampailah ke kemuncak kerjayanya sebagai Mufti, jika beliau mempunyai keupayaan dan dorongan untuk melakukan sedemikian. Muis juga sedang meneliti sokongan yang diperlukan asatizah kita untuk mempertingkat kemahiran dalam bidang-bidang penting ini.
  10. Selain itu, Muis juga sedang mempertingkatkan  program Pendidikan Profesional Berterusan (CPE) di bawah Skim Pengiktirafan Asatizah (ARS). Sepanjang beberapa bulan akan datang, asatizah dan majikan dari sektor agama akan diundang untuk sama-sama membentuk sebuah rangka kerja yang mengemukakan kurikulum CPE yang lebih holistik, agar ia relevan dan berguna kepada sektor agama secara amnya.
  11. CPE sangat penting dalam ekonomi pasca-COVID-19. Ia sehaluan dengan Belanjawan Kecekalan yang diumumkan oleh Timbalan Perdana Menteri Heng Swee Keat minggu lalu. Khususnya, kita perlu menyediakan peluang latihan yang akan membantu para asatizah mempertingkatkan dan memperbaharui kemahiran mereka. Ini juga perlu supaya kita sama menanam budaya pembelajaran sepanjang hayat di kalangan asatizah. Semuanya agar mereka dapat menyesuaikan diri dan bersikap terbuka untuk meneroka pendekatan baru, atau mengejar peluang di luar bidang agama dengan kemahiran baru yang diperolehi.

    Menabung demi masa depan

  12. Untuk melengkapkan transformasi sektor keagamaan, Muis sedang menyemak semula rangka dan skala gaji bagi para asatizah, untuk dipadankan dengan kelayakan, pengalaman dan  kemahiran mereka. Muis akan membuat perbandingan dengan sektor yang setaraf dan semasa. Ini akan memakan masa. Tetapi, kalau pun kita belum dapat memberikan asatizah gaji yang setimpal dengan kemahiran dan sumbangan mereka sekarang, kita harus mengatur langkah jangka panjang supaya kita mampu melakukannya pada masa depan.
  13. Umumnya, sebahagian besar pembiayaan sektor agama kita datang dari sumbangan masyarakat kita sendiri. Ini sangat penting kerana ia mewujudkan pemikiran keagamaan yang objektif, berkecuali dan tidak terpengaruh oleh kuasa asing. Hari ini, sumbangan Dana Pembinaan Masjid dan MENDAKI (MBMF) telah membina masjid-masjid yang kita banggakan serta keperluan pendidikan khusus untuk masyarakat kita. Derma yang anda salurkan kepada masjid-masjid pula membantu dalam penyelenggaraan masjid-masjid kita. Beberapa tahun yang lalu, Muis juga telah melancarkan “Wakaf Ilmu” –  iaitu sebuah wakaf istimewa yang terdiri daripada sumbangan wang daripada masyarakat. Sumbangan itu kemudiannya dilaburkan bagi menjana pulangan setiap tahun untuk diagihkan kepada madrasah-madrasah kita.
  14. Sistem sokongan tersebut sangat membantu kerana ia terus mendana keperluan masjid dan madrasah kita, walaupun ekonomi kita terjejas dengan krisis COVID-19 ini.  Namun sistem sokongan kita tidak boleh terhad kepada pembangunan institusi-institusi tersebut sahaja. Malah pentadbiran masjid terganggu kerana tiada sistem yang kukuh dalam mengumpul derma apabila jemaah tidak lagi memasukkan wang ke dalam tabung masjid seperti yang biasanya kita lakukan. Kita perlu wujudkan sistem pendanaan yang kukuh dan bertahan supaya asatizah kita dapat menyara hidup, program agama dapat berjalan, cendekiawan agama terus diasah, dan kebajikan jemaah yang memerlukan boleh terus diuruskan, walau dilanda krisis ekonomi.
  15. Atas pertimbangan inilah, saya telah meminta Muis untuk menubuhkan Wakaf Masyarakat Singapura. Wakaf ini bertujuan untuk menyokong institusi keagamaan kita, pembangunan asatizah serta usaha-usaha kemasyarakatan, yang belum didukung secara sistematik melalui wadah-wadah seperti dana MBMF dan pungutan zakat. Ia juga bakal menyokong penggajian para asatizah kita yang setimpal dengan sumbangan mereka.
  16. Kalau usaha Wakaf  Ilmu sebelum ini mengumpul aset cair (liquid asset) dari masyarakat untuk dikumpulkan menjadi aset pelaburan, Wakaf Masyarakat Singapura sebaliknya mendorong masyarakat membina aset hartanah mereka dahulu, dan mewakafkannya kemudian untuk menghasilkan aset cair pada masa mendatang. Justeru, hasrat saya, adalah untuk Wakaf tersebut berbentuk portfolio hartanah baru.
  17. Amalan menyumbang hartanah demi kegunaan masa hadapan sememangnya sudah wujud dalam warisan kita. Sebagai contoh, Almarhum Syed Omar Ali Aljunied telah mewakafkan Masjid Omar Kampong Melaka, yang kini masih berdiri di tapak asalnya di daerah bandar. Berasal dari Yaman, beliau tiba di Singapura pada abad ke-19, dan merupakan seorang pedagang yang berjaya. Beliau turut mewakafkan Masjid Bencoolen serta bangunan-bangunan di sampingnya. Begitu juga dengan Almarhumah Hajjah Fatimah binti Sulaiman, seorang pedagang dan dermawan yang terkenal pada abad ke-19. Semasa di sini, beliau telah membina rumah-rumah bagi golongan fakir miskin dan mendermakan tapak rumahnya untuk didirikan sebuah masjid. Kita kini kenali masjid tersebut sebagai Masjid Hajjah Fatimah. Pada hemat saya, inilah matlamat yang paling murni bagi seorang Islam mengumpul harta, bukan kerana kepentingan sendiri, tetapi kerana ia boleh terus memanfaatkan generasi mendatang. Ini sekaligus menjadi bekalan akhirat kita dalam bentuk amal jariah melalui pewakafan harta. Seperti dalam lirik lagu “Ku Cari Damai Abadi” yang dinyanyikan Bang Ramli Sarip:

    Aku cari bukan harta bertimbun-timbun untuk hidup kaya;
    Aku cari bukan wang berjuta-juta untuk hidup bergaya;


    Tuan-tuan dan puan-puan, dengan pengurusan yang teliti, pahala dari amal jariah mereka akan terus mengalir sampai ke akhirat nanti! Insya Allah.
  18. Sayangnya mewakafkan hartanah adalah satu budaya yang kelihatan hilang dari kita. Justeru, pada suasana Hari Raya yang mulia ini, saya ingin mengajak masyarakat, terutama mereka yang lebih mampu, supaya bersedia untuk memanfaatkan rezeki dan harta kekayaan kita, untuk membantu memenuhi pembiayaan sosio-agama kita pada masa ini dan masa hadapan. Saya yakin, dengan menjiwai matlamat berwakaf hartanah, ia dapat memberi kita matlamat yang murni dan bermakna dalam kita mengejar kejayaan di dunia.
  19. Saya gembira mengetahui ramai daripada kita cukup mampan hingga memiliki hartanah selain dari rumah yang kita diami. Ia merupakan sumber pendapatan sampingan atau persiapan untuk persaraan, satu persiapan yang baik. Tambahan dari ini, saya mengesyorkan tuan-puan mewasiatkan hartanah tersebut kepada Wakaf Masyarakat Singapura sebagai amal jariah untuk menabur jasa kepada generasi mendatang, terutama dalam menyokong pembangunan para asatizah dan alim-ulama kita, seperti yang dilakukan sesepuh kita, Almarhum Syed Omar Aljunied dan Almarhumah Hajjah Fatimah. Sektor agama kita juga akan lebih berdaya tahan mengharungi krisis pada masa-masa mendatang. Inilah  persiapan yang sangat baik, dan jasa tuan puan pula kekal hingga akhirat nanti.
  20. Namun, sebagai asas terkumpulnya wakaf tersebut, pekerja kita perlu ada sumber pendapatan yang stabil, karyawan kita mesti cekap dan bersemangat untuk mencapai kejayaan, dan perusahaan kita harus memperkukuhkan daya bingkas dan keupayaan mereka untuk mengharungi perubahan ekonomi.
  21. Sejajar dengan ini, Menteri Negara Zaqy Mohamad sedang memimpin sebuah kumpulan kerja yang terdiri daripada MENDAKI SENSE, DPPMS, NTUC serta badan-badan masyarakat yang lain. Di tengah-tengah penularan COVID-19 ini, ramai di kalangan pekerja kita terjejas. Ada yang kehilangan kerja, dan ada pula telah membawa pulang pendapatan yang lebih rendah. Justeru, kumpulan kerja ini akan menyelaraskan usahanya dengan strategi yang dilakarkan oleh Majlis Pekerjaan Kebangsaan, untuk membantu masyarakat kita yang terjejas bingkas bangun, agar membuat persiapan untuk masa depan yang lebih baik. Kerjasama sebegini juga adalah lanjutan dari gandingan dan gotong royong M3 bersama badan-badan Melayu Islam seperti Pergas, PPIS, AMPS dan FIM dalam ikatan SGTeguhBersatu untuk membantu masyarakat kita menghadapi krisis Covid-19. Kalaupun berlaku gangguan ekonomi nanti, visi menyumbang menerusi Wakaf Masyarakat Singapura akan hidup sentiasa dalam benak kita.
  22. Usaha MOS Zaqy juga selaras dengan usaha khidmat mentor dalam menggunakan waktu yang ada mempersiapkan golongan muda kita yang diterajui oleh AP Rahayu Mahzam. Saya menyeru mereka yang sudah nikmati kejayaan, tampil ke hadapan menjadi mentor, bantu anak muda kita luaskan jaringan sosial dan ufuk pemikiran mereka, dan semaikan semangat ingin berbakti kepada negara dan masyarakat dalam diri mereka. Kita telah pun merintis Pejabat Pementoran Belia di MENDAKI untuk sediakan ruang bagi para karyawan mendampingi belia kita supaya mereka dapat mencapai kecemerlangan sebagai karyawan berjaya di masa hadapan.

    Conclusion

  23. Izinkan saya buat kesimpulan. Tahun lalu saya mengajak kita menjadi Masyarakat Gemilang. Ini adalah ikatan kita sebagai individu-individu yang masing-masing mempunyai keperibadian terpuji, kemahiran yang memanfaatkan, dan kewarganegaraan yang meyakinkan. Sebagai Masyarakat Gemilang kita akan mencapai kesaksamaan sebagai rakyat secara hakiki, dan bukan setakat kesaksamaan dari segi hak semata-mata.
  24. Kini saya mengajak Masyarakat Gemilang membina iltizam untuk menghidupkan kembali budaya mengumpul hartanah yang boleh kita wakafkan sebagai warisan kita kepada generasi Masyarakat Gemilang mendatang. Wakaf Masyarakat Singapura memastikan masyarakat akan terus mempunyai sumber yang dapat membantu menjalankan tanggungjawab memenuhi keperluan keagamaan masyarakat kita sekalipun dipukul badai krisis.
  25. Dalam khutbah Hari Raya beliau tahun ini, Mufti telah mengingatkan kita bahawa Aidilfitri kali ini bukan sekadar melambangkan kemenangan. Ia mengingatkan kita akan perjuangan dan pengorbanan yang berterusan dalam kita memainkan peranan untuk melindungi nyawa dan menjaga keselamatan semua. Marilah kita terus menyemarakkan semangat perjuangan ini, sedang kita bina masa depan kita bersama, sebagai sebuah Masyarakat Gemilang.
  26. Terima kasih.

English translation of Malay speech

Importance of our religious sector

  1. Ladies and gentlemen, our asatizah have been critical in providing guidance and spiritual support to the community. They have proven their capabilities and their significance in overcoming the challenge of COVID-19. These capabilities were not built in a day – but over decades of dedication that have been put in by community leaders. That is how long it takes to deepen their religious knowledge, where an asatizah is nimble in providing guidance and leading the community on religious issues, suited to the Singapore context. We have long invested to strengthen our religious institutions, that have a hand in moulding and uplifting our asatizah. Nonetheless, more needs to be done to strengthen our religious sector and institutions. This will be the gist of my Hari Raya message this year.
  2. I will begin by outlining the long-term vision for our religious sector. The Mufti is the apex leader of the asatizah fraternity and sets the tone and direction for the religious leadership in Singapore. The Mufti also oversees all religious affairs that are under the purview of the two Deputy Muftis, Dean of Muis Academy, Senior President of the Syariah Court, and the Registrar of Registry of Muslim Marriages. In the future, the Mufti will be appointed among these five officers because the position requires depth in knowledge and experience in these areas. These five officers oversee various pathways for our asatizah, and over time, I hope to see the asatizah being rotated across these pathways to widen their experience, while they deepen their knowledge and get the recognition for their skills in their respective areas of work.
  3. In April, Muis launched the Career and Competency Framework (CCF). It is one of the initiatives under the Asatizah Workforce Development Plan; guided by recommendations of the Committee of Future Asatizah, led by SMS Maliki Osman. With the CCF, officers in the religious sector will be more aware of the job opportunities and corresponding skills, competencies and accreditations needed for jobs in the religious sector. These jobs are in a range of areas such as religious policy and development, education, mosque and community development, and family law and development, all of which demand an understanding of counselling, social work, and even Muslim Family Law in the case of Syariah Court. This acts as a career map for a fresh graduate who may be starting his career at the mosque, all the way until he becomes the Mufti, if he is capable and has the motivation to do so. Muis is also looking at support needed by our asatizah to develop these important skills.
  4. Muis is also developing the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) programme, under the Asatizah Recognition Scheme.  Over the next few months, asatizah and employers in the religious sector will be engaged to co-create a framework that features a holistic curriculum to the CPE, so that it is relevant and of value to the sector as a whole.
  5. The CPE is very important in the post-COVID-19 economy. It is aligned to the direction of the Fortitude Budget announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat last week. In particular, we need to provide training opportunities that will help our asatizah to enhance their existing skills and attain new ones. This is important as we need to instil the spirit of lifelong learning in our asatizah, so that they can be nimble and open to explore new approaches in their current practice, or even pursue opportunities beyond the religious sector with the new skills that they have acquired.

    Saving for our future

  6. To complete the transformation of our religious sector, Muis is also reviewing the salary scale and framework for the asatizah, to match it with their qualifications, experience and skills. Muis is also doing a comparison study with other sectors that are current and are of similar status. This will take time. Even if we are unable to provide asatizah with a salary that is proportionate to their skills and contributions, we have to plan now so that we can afford to do so in the long run.
  7. Generally, a huge portion of the funding for our religious sector comes from our own community. This is important because it creates an objective and neutral stance towards understanding our religion, that is not influenced by foreign powers. Today, the Mosque Building and MENDAKI Fund (MBMF) has built mosques that we are proud of, as well as specific education needs for our community. The donations you give at the mosques also cover the maintenance of these mosques. More recently, Muis launched Wakaf Ilmu – a unique cash wakaf that collects donation from the community. The contributions will then be placed in investments to generate returns every year for our madrasahs.
  8. This support system is very useful because it continues to fund the needs of our mosques and madrasahs, even as the economy is impacted by COVID-19. However, such support system cannot be limited to only help those institutions. In fact, management of mosques was affected as it lacked a system that can collect donations from the community, in a time when the community could not do so directly at the mosques. We need to create a funding system that is strong and resilient so that our asatizah can continue to make a meaningful living, our religious programmes continues to run, our religious scholarship gets its nurturing, and the long-term needs of our jemaah who are in need of assistance continues to be taken care of, even during an economic crisis.
  9. It was in this spirit that I have asked Muis to set up the Singapore Community Wakaf, aimed to financially support our religious institutions, asatizah development and community programmes, whose needs are not systematically funded by platforms such as MBMF and zakat collections. It will also support the remuneration of asatizah that will be proportionate to their contributions.
  10. If the aim of Wakaf Ilmu was to collect liquid asset from the community to form an investment asset, the Singapore Community Wakaf encourages the community to build their real estate first, and later bequeath it as wakaf to form the liquid asset in the future. Therefore, my goal is for this Wakaf to be in the form of a new real estate portfolio.
  11. This practice of contributing our wealth for the benefit of future generations is already a part of our tradition. For example, the late bequeathed Masjid Omar Kampong Melaka, which still sits on its original location in the Central Business District. Originally from Yemen, he arrived at Singapore in the 19th century, and was a successful trader then. He had also made a wakaf of the Bencoolen Mosque and the properties that supported it. The same goes for the late Hajjah Fatimah binti Sulaiman, a prominent tradeswoman and philanthropist from the 19th century. During her time here, she had built houses for the poor and donated the site of her house to have a mosque built in its place. We now know the mosque as Masjid Hajjah Fatimah. In my view, this is the best reason for Muslims to consolidate wealth, not for their own benefit, but for the benefit of future generations as well. This will also be what we bring with us into the afterlife, where the assets that we bequeath continue to benefit others even after we pass on. Just as in the lyrics of “Ku Cari Damai Abadi” (I search for eternal Peace) sang by Ramli Sarip:

    Aku cari bukan harta bertimbun-timbun untuk hidup kaya
    (I seek wealth, not to live a materialistic life)
    Aku cari bukan wang berjuta-juta untuk hidup bergaya
    (I seek money worth millions, not to live flamboyantly)


    Ladies and gentlemen, with proper management, the rewards we can reap from our donations will flow even to the afterlife. God willing.
  12. Sadly, the act of leaving our properties behind as wakaf has departed from the community. So, as we celebrate Hari Raya today, I would like to urge the community, especially those with the resources, to step forward to put our wealth to good use, and purpose it to fund our socio-religious needs now, and for the future. I am confident, that if we appreciate the spirit of wakaf, we it can give us the meaningful push for us to achieve success in this world.
  13. I am happy to know that many among us now are making sustainable plans by owning more than two properties, to act as an additional source of income in preparation for retirement. This is a good step. In addition to this, I also encourage you to bequeath these properties to the Singapore Community Wakaf, as an amal jariah, to support the development of our asatizah and religious scholars, just as what our ancestors, Syed Omar Aljunied and Hajjah Fatimah, had done for our generation. The religious sector will also be resilient in overcoming future crises. This is an excellent step to take, and your contributions will continue to be with you in the hereafter.
  14. However, in order to form the foundation for this wakaf, our workers need to be gainfully employed and bring home healthy income, our professionals must be competent and motivated, and our enterprises should grow stronger and able to weather the ups and downs of the economy.
  15. On this front, MOS Zaqy is leading a workgroup comprising MENDAKI SENSE, the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SMCCI), NTUC and other community partners. Many of our workers are affected amidst the COVID-19 situation. Some lost their jobs, while others brought back lower income. Therefore, this workgroup will coordinate its efforts with the strategies outlined by the National Jobs Council, to help those in our community who were affected to bounce back, and make preparations for a better future. The Working Group is also an extension of the collaboration and gotong royong spirit of M3, together with other Malay/Muslim organisations such as PERGAS, PPIS, AMP and FIM under the SGTeguhBersatu Taskforce that helps the community overcome the COVID-19 crisis. Even if we face another disruption, the vision to contribute back through the Singapore Community Wakaf can remain alive in us.
  16. MOS Zaqy’s effort is also aligned to the mentoring initiative for our youth, which is spearheaded by MP Rahayu Mahzam.  For those who are already enjoying success, I hope you will step forward to be a mentor, help them develop their social capital, grow their horizons and instil in them the spirit of giving back to the community and nation. We have started the MENDAKI’s Youth Mentoring Office, to provide a platform for our professionals to serve as mentors to groom our youth, so that we can sustain our professional excellence through future generations.

    Conclusion

  17. Allow me to conclude. Last year, I had called upon us to be a Community of Success. It is our individual commitment to be someone of good character, possesses the skills to benefit others, and have a convincing sense of citizenry. As a Community of Success, we will achieve being equal as citizens in substance and not in rights only.
  18. Now, I invite the Community of Success to build the desire to bring back the culture of owning properties with the intention of leaving them as wakaf, for the next generation of Community of Success. Singapore Community Wakaf will ensure that the community will have the resources to fulfil their responsibilities of fulfilling the religious needs of the community, even if a crisis hits us.
  19. In his Hari Raya sermon this year, our Mufti has reminded us that Aidilfitri this year symbolises much more than just victory. It reminds us of our continued struggle and sacrifice as we play our part to protect lives and keep everyone safe. Let us continue to ignite this fighting spirit, as we build our future together, as a Community of Success.
  20. Thank you.

 

Last updated on 05 June 2020