Former minister is Tokoh Maal Hijrah

PUTRAJAYA (Nov 5, 2013): Former minister in the prime minister's department Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Zainal Abidin was named the recipient of the national-level Tokoh Maal Hijrah award this year.

The recipient for the international-level award is Dr Zakir Abdul Karim Naik, a Muslim preacher from Mumbai, India.

They each received RM100,000, a medal and a certificate.

Abdul Hamid, 69, who holds a master's degree from the Al-Azhar University in Egypt, had served as MARA chairman, a member of parliament and senator, as well as Director-General of the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim).

"I am overwhelmed to be given this award. It is an honour for me and my family," he said in his speech.

Meanwhile, Dr Zakir Naik, 48, the founder of the Islamic Research Foundation, is a graduate in medicine and surgery from University of Bombay, Mumbai.

"Thanks to the Malaysian government for this recognition. I am very happy to get this award and wish to thank all Malaysians for accepting me as an Islamic preacher in the country," he said. – Bernama