Speech by Minister Masagos Zulkifli at Muis Workplan Seminar 2021

Assalamualaikum Wr Wb

Dear Community leaders, friends and partners of Muis

1 A very good morning and thank you for joining us at today’s workplan seminar.

2 We are into the last few days of Ramadan, and the last weekend before Hari Raya. Taking your precious time on a Saturday morning to be here - means a lot to us - and speaks of your dedication and commitment to serve the community in your various capacities.

3 Muis is at heart a Statutory Body, established under AMLA, to serve the needs of the Muslim community. The needs of our community are diverse, and so are our aspirations. The Muslim community today has higher expectations of Muis, our mosques, madrasahs and all our institutions, and rightfully so.

4 I am glad to have a dedicated team of officers at Muis working hard to uphold the trust the community has placed in us to serve their needs, while bearing in mind we are part of a multi-cultural Singapore.

5 The past year has been a challenging one, with the nation and the entire global community battling the effects of COVID-19. The Muslim community, too, has gone through exceptional times and made important sacrifices, along with other faith communities.

Muis' priority areas 

6 For Muis, the pandemic has forced us to reprioritise and react to pressing needs faced by various segments of the community. At the same time, we continued to press on with our long-term efforts to strengthen and uplift the community, to ensure we emerge stronger in the years to come.

7 Muis’ current 3-year plan that we started in 2019, focuses on 4 strategic thrusts:

  • First: Providing the Muslim community with religious leadership suited to our multi-cultural society, to enhance our social cohesion.

    This was demonstrated very well over the past year, with the religious leadership in the Office of the Mufti working closely with doctors in MHPA and other asatizah to guide the community to make important adjustments.
  • Second: Rallying Support to the Under-served

    This includes our efforts to support Zakat recipients, as well as efforts as part of our M3 collaboration with Mendaki and Mesra
  • Third: Strengthening Support and Development of Asatizah

    This includes important efforts to support tertiary students, developing the asatizah workforce as well as continuing professional education
  • Fourth: Strengthening Our Religious Institutions

    Including ensuring our mosques and madrasahs are resilient, sustainable and strong

    8 Even in the face of the COVID-19 situation, Muis remained undeterred and made the necessary adaptations to our key projects and initiatives. In fact, we have become even more resolved to support the community better.

    Key initiatives over the past year 

    9 In this regard, I am pleased to report the progress of efforts Muis has undertaken over the past year.

    10 First, When the crisis hit last year, the government rolled out various support schemes. At the same time, it was important for us to complement the national efforts to see how the Muslim community can be even better supported:

    a. The Poor and needy in the community 

      i. is an important client group that Muis supports through our Zakat assistance.

    ii. With mosques closed last year, and clients unable to meet their social development officers in person,