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Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Efficient Use Of Waqaf The Best Way To Eradicate Poverty Among Muslims, Says PM

JOHOR BAHARU, Aug 11 (Bernama) -- The efficient use of waqaf (endowment) assets is one of the best ways to eradicate poverty and develop the socio-economic standing of the ummah, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Monday.

"Efficient use of waqaf is one of the best ways to achieve these objectives as it will help to reduce the gap between rich and poor communities as well as to ensure a fairer distribution of wealth," the prime minister said.

His speech was delivered by Minister in the Prime Ministers Department Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who represented him in opening the International Seminar on Awqaf 2008, entitled "Awqaf: The Social and Economic Empowerment of The Ummah" here.

The two-day seminar is organised by Kumpulan Waqaf An-Nur Berhad and the Johor Corporation Cooperation in collaboration with the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia, Department of Awqaf, Zakat and Hajj (Jawhar) and the Prime Ministers Department.

Abdullah said that through the seminar, the Johor Corporation had on its own volition placed significant effort in promoting the waqaf institution.

"In this respect, I am pleased to report that the Johor Corporations corporate waqaf should serve as an inspiration for other organisations to develop waqaf assets that help eradicate poverty, provide job opportunities and reduce the government's expenditure," he said.

He said the development of waqaf assets by the private sector would help educate the more fortunate within the community in understanding the concept of asset ownership and utilisation the Islamic way.

Abdullah said that from an Islamic perspective, social obligations should not be the sole responsibility of the government but was something that ought to be shared with all parties interested in being part of the community-building process.

This, he said, included the private sector and non-governmental organisations which are willing to help nurture a progressive Muslim society through measures, including waqaf, which are in accordance with Islamic teachings.

In addition, he said, the mass media could also play a role by promoting waqaf social programmes so that the public would be able to fulfil their social responsibilities by investing their wealth in a blessed way.


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