SPEECH BY CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF MUIS HJ ABDUL RAZAK MARICAR AT THE MUIS50 AWARDS DINNER 2018 ON SATURDAY, 6 OCTOBER 2018 AT THE FAIRMONT SINGAPORE
Mdm Halimah Yacob, President of Singapore, and Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee,
Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, and Minister-in-Charge of Muslim Affairs,
Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Members of Parliament, Excellencies, Ambassadors, High Commissioners and distinguished members of the Diplomatic Corps
Hj Mohd Alami Musa,President of Muis,
Sohibus Samahah, Dr Fatris Bakaram, Mufti of the Republic of Singapore
Distinguished members of the Muis Council
Respected Mosque, Religous and Community Leaders
Assalamualaikum wr wb and a very good evening to all Ladies and Gentlemen
2. Allow me to thank President Halimah Yacob for gracing the Muis50 Awards Dinner. This is indeed a great honour for Muis and the Malay/Muslim community.
3. This year’s Awards Ceremony continues Muis’ annual tradition of honouring our committed individuals who have been actively and selflessly volunteering in our mosques, madrasahs and key religious institutions as well as our partner Muslim organisations. Tonight, we honour eight individuals who will be conferred the Muis Awards 2018. With this we will have conferred 164 awards over the years.
4. We began with the Anugerah Ilmiawan in 1979, and then the Anugerah Jasawan in 1987. In 1990 we expanded the pool of recipients to include Muslim volunteer organisations and the mosque and madrasah. This inclusive approach enabled us to pay tribute to more of the countless individuals who volunteer their time, energy and services to the community.
5. They ensure the vibrancy of our mosques and madrasahs, and reach out to help the less fortunate among us. They also promote social harmony and build a strong sense of community. They contribute and inspire the community to, in the words of our beloved Mufti, “invigorate life with the breath of love, compassion and faith”.
6. Tonight is not your usual Muis Awards Ceremony, just as this is not a normal year for Muis. 2018 marks fifty years since the formation of Muis. This means a fifty-year journey dedicated to providing guidance and facilitating the socio religious life of our community, and bringing the community together as we journey together towards our vision of excellence.
7. It is not a journey we have undertaken alone. It is a journey supported by many unsung heroes who work tirelessly behind the scenes, steadfast in service and bringing with them the expertise to guide Muis as its work becomes increasingly complex. I like to use the phrase “unsung hero” because many of them, for various reasons, have not been recognised before under the traditional Jasa Bakti or Jasa Cemerlang.
8. However, we know them very well. We have honoured a small number before this with special awards at significant milestones in Muis’ history – during our 25th Anniversary, our 40th Anniversary as well as when we celebrated SG50 with the nation.
9. And this year, as we look back at the past fifty years, Muis is conferring seven of these individuals with the Muis50 Distinguished Award. We deeply appreciate and value their service and sacrifices and are truly inspired by their sense of dedication to our institutions and to our community.
10. I have no doubt that their exemplary service will inspire our younger generation to carry on this legacy. The number of ground up initiatives and youths coming forward to serve is indeed heart-warming. This augurs well for the community as it continues to imbibe in our young the spirit of rahmah or compassion.
11. In the spirit of Muis50, Semarak Langkah Berjiwa Rahmah, Striving with Confidence, Serving with Compassion, Muis is recognising the next generation of volunteers, by conferring five young and outstanding individuals with the Muis50 Inspiring Youth Award. They are making significant impact and encouraging our youth to personify the Singaporean Muslim Community’s ethos of being a Blessings to All. Spirit of Giving in the Community Ladies and Gentlemen,
12. I am happy to share that the sterling contributions of these individuals are mirrored by the contributions of the community to strengthen our socio religious life through the institution of zakat. We have seen a sustained increase in zakat paid to Muis every year. This community support has enabled Muis to do more through zakat assistance and empowerment schemes for our poor and needy, so that, as a community we move forward and ensure that no one is left behind.
13. Beyond contributing to zakat, our community also manifests the ethos of Rahmatan lil Alamin through their contribution to various victims of humanitarian crisis, regardless of race or religion, all around the world. The community has raised more than $6.45 million in this regard, the latest of which was the sum of $307,000 for victims of the tragedies in Lombok and Laos.
14. We will also be raising funds for the victims of the Sulawesi natural disasters through our mosques as well as online. We started earlier this week and will continue till this coming Thursday. We hope this will give some measure of relief to the survivors, and we pray that Allah swt will give them the strength to remain steadfast.
15. Closer to home, the community has been contributing to the President’s Challenge for the past 18 years. This year the community has raised $100,000, which we will be honoured to present to our guest of honour President Halimah later this evening.
16. I am also gratified, true to their selfless nature, our seven Muis50 Distinguished Award recipients have decided to pay it forward their monetary award of $3,000 each to five charitable organisations. Muis has matched and topped up these pledges, bringing the entire sum to $50,000, which collectively they decided should go to the Ain Society’s Serenity Cancer Centre, the Casa Raudhah Women’s Shelter, Club Heal, Rainbow Centre and the Association for Person with Special Needs (APSN). Through the Paying-It-Forward spirit of our Muis50 Distinguished Award recipients, these organisations will each receive $10,000. Ladies and Gentlemen,
17. The Muis Awards is a manifestation of the symbiosis between the community and Muis. It is a testament to the power of our greatest resource, which is our people. The Awards Ceremony is our humble way to honour and express our gratitude to you, our tireless volunteers, and also to the whole community for the strong support to Muis all these years. We are thankful to the community, and look forward to the community’s continued support in forging more partnerships in meeting and delivering services to our beloved community.
18. In that light, Muis, in the next lap of its journey, will leverage on the collective strengths of two partners, Mendaki and MESRA, as well as their network of programmes and volunteers, and embarking on the M3 initiative. Through this we hope to deliver more customised programmes to under-served segments of the community.
19. We also recognise the power of volunteers to reach out directly to the community and to assist in that crucial last mile of service delivery, for both existing and new community specific and national programmes and services. We look forward to new synergies between Muis, Mendaki and MESRA as we hope to bring the community forward together.
20. Finally let me once again on behalf of Muis congratulate our Muis Award and Muis50 Award winners. They have led the way and are indeed shining role models for us all. Allow me to end my speech in Malay.
1. Sidang hadirin yang dihormati Saya berbesar hati dapat bersama-sama anda di Majlis Anugerah Muis50 (Muis lima puluh) malam ini. Lebih istimewa lagi majlis diserikan dengan kehadiran Presiden kita, Puan Halimah Yacob.
2. Majlis malam ini pasti berbeza daripada Majlis Anugerah Muis dan Majlis Penyampaian Cek Dana Cabaran Presiden yang dilaksanakan setiap tahun, menandangkan tahun ini Muis menyambut ulang tahun ke lima puluh dalam perjalannya menyantuni kehidupan masyarakat dan kesejahteraan negara.
3. Namun intipatinya tetap sama. Anugerah Muis merupakan wadah untuk mengiktiraf peranan dan sumbangan para relawan dalam membina masyarakat dan memperkukuh institusi sosio-agama kita.
4. Sumbangan kepada Dana Cabaran Presiden pula melambangkan nilai Rahmatan lil Alamin masyarakat Islam Singapura, yang giat menyumbang bakti tanpa mengira bangsa dan agama.
5. Malam ini, kita meraikan perjalanan Muis bersama para relawan serta rakan-rakan kongsi, institusi serta badan-badan setempat, dalam mencorak masyarakat Islam yang cemerlang. Muis telah meraikan sumbangan para relawan sejak 1990. Sebentar lagi, kita akan menyaksikan lapan individu ddi anugerah Jasa Bakti dan Jasa Cemerlang Muis.
6. Malam ini, Muis juga akan mengiktiraf tujuh individu yang telah begitu lama menyumbang bakti dalam Majlis Tertinggi Muis dan menabur bakti kepada masyarakat dengan Anugerah Muis50.
7. Sesuai dengan semangat Rahmatan Lil Alamin, mereka bertujuh telah berbesar hati menyumbangkan semula wang anugerah yang diterima untuk dimanfaati lima pertubuhan kebajikan yang memerlukan. Bagi pihak Muis pula, kami telah memadankan sejumlah supaya jumlahnya menjadi $50,000.
8. Dana tersebut akan disalurkan kepada Pusat Barah Serenity Persatuan Ain, Rumah Tumpangan Wanita Casa Raudhah, Club Heal, Pusat Rainbow serta Association of Person with Special Needs (APSN) dan setiap pertubuhan akan mendapat sumbangan $10,000. Syukur Alhamdilillah.
9. Di samping itu, sesuai dengan semangat memandang ke hadapan, Muis juga memberi Anugerah Inspirasi Belia demi menggalakkan kesinambungan semangat berbakti kepada masyarakat dalam kalangan generasi muda.
10. Sekali lagi, tahniah kepada semua penerima anugerah. Sesungguhnya, Tuan-tuan merupakan insan mithali yang menjadi tauladan kepada kami semua. Semoga segala amal jariah dan pengorbanan Tuan-tuan sekalian dan kita bersama diberkati Allah (swt), Amin.
11. Saya ingin mengakhiri ucapan ini dengan serangkap-dua pantun yang menjadi lambang keindahan sosio-budaya kita:
Dalam jemaah ada muafakat
Mengatur langkah jalan seiring
Tuan berkhidmat menyantuni umat
Bagaikan aur dengan tebing
Tidakkan lumpuh tulang belikat
Kalau sendinya utuh berpadu
Tidakkan runtuh legasi masyarakat
Kalau anggotanya kukuh bersatu.
Wabillahi Taufiq Walhidayah Wassalamu alaikum wr.wb.