Media Statement - Passing of Mr Othman Wok

MEDIA STATEMENT

17 April 2017

  1. The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), along with the Singapore Muslim community, is deeply saddened by the passing of one of Singapore’s founding fathers, Tuan Haji Othman Wok.

  2. Mr Othman is well remembered as one of the team of founding leaders who built Singapore amidst the challenging period of Singapore’s early history. As Minister for Social Affairs from 1963 to 1977, he laid the foundation for the administration of Muslim affairs in Singapore while developing the national policies and infrastructure for culture and social welfare for a young nation.

  3. His greatest legacy was the development of the Administration of Muslim Law Act (AMLA) together with the late Prof Ahmad Ibrahim. It was AMLA that made the establishment of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), Syariah Court and Registry of Muslim Marriages (ROMM) possible. This was a manifestation of his foresight in building institutions which would build and serve the community.

  4. He played a big role in establishing the Mosque Building Fund, at a time when resources had to be mobilised to build new mosques for the community as the nation underwent rapid urbanisation. Through this Fund, the community has been able to build 26 new multi-function mosques, offering many programmes for religious learning and social development which benefit the community and beyond till this day. The use of the fund has since then also been expanded to include upgrading of old mosques and religious education.

  5. Yet another notable legacy of Mr Othman was the setting up of the Singapore Pilgrimage Office, Singapore’s first formal system of registration for haj activities. This has helped to establish an efficient and professional management of the haj system that ensure a smooth journey for the Singapore Haj pilgrims.

  6. With his passing, the community has lost a strong leader who sought tirelessly to uplift the community. His significant contributions not only create a deep impact on the lives of the Singaporean Muslims but have also enabled them to grow and prosper as the nation grew.

  7. Muis would like to express our heartfelt condolences to his family for their loss. May Allah s.w.t. shower His choicest blessings for all his great deeds and contributions to the well-being of the community and to the nation.

MAJLIS UGAMA ISLAM SINGAPURA

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Last updated on 21/3/2018