KUALA LUMPUR: In order to increase the country’s waqf fund savings and assets, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said an initiative has to be formulated at the federal level to encourage civil servants to make waqf (endowment) contributions, especially periodically through salary deductions.
The prime minister said this was among the four main points outlined in an effort to ensure that waqf becomes an important element in helping the country’s economy.
In this regard, he said ministry secretaries-general and heads of departments and agencies at the federal level should play a role in encouraging officers and staff under their charge to make waqf donations.
Muhyiddin said Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali has approved the General Circular No 1/ 2020: Procedures to Implement Cash Waqf Donation Through Voluntary Salary Deductions for Public Officers serving in Federal Territories and states.
“The same goes for banking and financial institutions in assisting to diversify waqf platforms. Islamic financial institutions should make waqf an element that adds value to their financial products and services,” he said.
Muhyiddin said this in his speech when launching Ramadan as the National Waqf Month, which was streamed live on his official Facebook account today.
Besides that, he said the development of waqf properties should also be made an important element in the preparation of each Malaysia Plan on national development.
In this context, he said government-linked companies, government-linked investment companies and corporate bodies together with the Waqf, Zakat and Haj Department (JAWHAR), Yayasan Waqaf Malaysia (YWM) and state Islamic Religious Councils need to identify areas and possibilities for cooperation to optimise the utilisation and development of waqf assets.
The prime minister also wanted a holistic and comprehensive waqf enculturation plan to be formulated at the national and state levels so as to create a waqf literate society.
He added that YWM has to be empowered, either through fund injections or increased talents, so that it could set an example of advanced waqf management at the international level.
“I hope through the roles of waqf-related institutions in Malaysia, we will be able to offer expertise and best practice models to other Muslim countries in an effort to restore the glory of waqf,” he said.
The prime minister said the federal government through JAWHAR and YWM was committed to cooperating with state Islamic Religious Councils so that waqf can play an active and effective role in developing the socioeconomic status of the ummah.
On the launch of Ramadan as the National Waqf Month, Muhyiddin said it was to ensure that the community could give special attention to the greatness of waqf.
“This does not mean that we have to wait for Ramadan to make waqf contributions but we will intensify waqf activities during this month throughout the country.
“Hopefully, all activities planned for the National Waqf Month 2021 could fulfil the intention of the donors and receive rewards and divine blessings,” he said.
The prime minister also touched on the establishment of the Kenanga Waqf Al-Ihsan Fund, a unit trust launched through the collaboration of Kenanga Investors Berhad and YWM, and a second collaboration between YWM and Bank Rakyat.
Muhyiddin said through the cooperation to increase waqf fund savings, Bank Rakyat has given its commitment to contribute a waqf fund of RM1 million as a matching grant.
“For every ringgit contributed by individual donors to the platform provided by Bank Rakyat, the bank will endow the same amount to the Cash Waqf Fund. This is a waqf revolution activated by the synergy of the corporate sector which could contribute to the development and growth of waqf in Malaysia,” he said.–Bernama