There was a case recently that typifies what Malay Muslims who are less financially fortunate face when they asked for help from their own Muslim organisations. There was this couple, K and wife N. They had fallen into financial difficulties, K had gotten retrenched, and he had been jobless for quite a while.
The couple had three kids, the youngest of whom was less than 3 years old. K had been desperately looking for a job, but got rejected at almost all applications. So, as a last resort, the couple decided to approach MUIS for zakat. After all, what good is a Muslim body if they cannot help own Muslim community, right. The first thing that went wrong was the officer at MUIS telling the couple to approach their nearest mosque for application, as MUIS does not do direct applications.
So, the couple approached Mosque A, only to be turned away as they lived a bit further than the mosque. So they turned to Mosque B, nearer to their house. The officer who answered their call was at first nice, as she thought they wanted to donate. But when told they wanted to receive alms, her tone changed. The couple was told that Mosque B was busy, and they will call them again. A week later, no call, so the couple called the Mosque B themselves. True enough, the mosque had forgottten about them. Another mosque officer told the couple application must be done in person, and not via phone.
Couple went down to Mosque B, did their application forms, only to be met by sarcastic remarks, like if the husband cannot find a job, why not let the wife sacrifice and find work, and place the kids in childcare, because childcare also have subsidies. But the main point was, childcare application already got cash involved, and this couple are in desperate need of cash, so how will this work? To make things worse, there were even snide remarks like why have so many kids when financialy the couple were struggling.
The couple just kept silent, as they really need the financial help. It was only 2 months later that financial aid was given. But looking around, it is not rare to find Malay Muslim families asking for aid from Churches and Buddhist organisations, instead of MUIS. And when they go there, they are not judged, and given immediate help once proven they really need the help. Why Malay Muslim organisations cannot do this?
The big question is this. Why is MUIS so stringent and reluctant to offer help to the Muslim community, when their reserves is at $100m? They need $8.3m annually to pay the salaries of their staff, which includes a CEO, 2 deputy CEOs and a President. Why so many high earners in an organisation that cannot even get their admin right? What are they doing there, earning their big bucks? And why are their case officers insensitive towards others? They are social workers, so why look down on those in need, and is there any need to be sarcastic? Ever thought the reason why Muslims turn to other religious organisations is because our own religious body is loathed in helping us?
And the one that hurts, isn’t this a good way for other religious bodies to sell their religion to the Malay Muslims in need, because your own religion turned their backs on you?
#MuslimsunderrepresentedinSingapore #bebaskanMUIS #PAPdog