Seek help to get off zakat dependence, recipients advised

National 2 minutes, 6 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

ZAKAT recipients are encouraged to join any of the existing programmes designed to help wean themselves off their dependence on Islamic welfare.

The minister of religious affairs yesterday was responding to Temburong Representative Yang Berhormat Hj Sulaiman Hj Ahad who asked whether the ministry has provided programmes to help wean zakat recipients from their zakat dependence.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awang Badaruddin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awang Othman said programmes geared towards helping the needy have always been in existence.

Some former zakat recipients have found success and are able to sustain a living without the financial assistance.

For instance, the Asnaf Zakat Empowerment Programme (PROPAZ) has shown some degree of success, said the religious affairs minister who noted that about 70 per cent of programme participants linked with the Youth Development Centre (PROPAZ-PBB) and about 50 per cent of PROPAZ-PERANTIS participants no longer require zakat as they have either set up their own businesses or have found employment.

“The remainder is not considered failures as some of them have decided to continue their studies since they are of schooling age,” said the minister.

“I would like to call upon the relevant asnaf that are still healthy, able-bodied and of working age to come forward to join these kind of programmes and the like that will be introduced later on. This is for their own betterment so they may be able to not fully rely on zakat funds,” said the minister.

Meanwhile, the minister of culture, youth and sports said the National Council on Social Issues (MKIS) recently came up with new initiatives to improve the effectiveness of their programmes aimed at helping welfare recipients and families deemed vulnerable to poverty.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awg Halbi Hj Mohd Yusof said this in response to YB Datin Paduka Hjh Salbiah Hj Sulaiman who asked if the MCYS has any new strategic approaches to improve programmes designed for the needy.

The minister explained that two new projects are in the pipeline. One programme will be in the form of assistance for those who truly cannot work or find employment such as the old and terminally ill (uzur), special needs and individuals vulnerable to poverty.

The second programme will be a work incentive programme that will focus on those who do not earn enough to fully supplement their livelihood and their children’s schooling needs by offering them incentives to remain in their jobs.

The Brunei Times