Over BND14M raised for Mosque Construction Fund

Azlan Othman

In a dialogue with Legislative Council (LegCo) members yesterday, Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman revealed that the contributions from members of the public and civil servants for the Mosque Construction Fund have been very encouraging.

“To date, around BND14.2 million in funds has been collected, half of which is contributed by civil servants. This should help with the plans for the mosque construction,” he said.

Regarding the process of zakat distribution, the minister said that there are six aspects that will need to be improved.

“For the applicants requiring urgent assistance, an immediate assessment will be made and decided at the committee level, within the Client’s Charter (TPOR) of three days, compared to normal applications which can take up to two months of working days. However, this can be improved through an upgrade of the systems and by utilising the available technology,” he said.

“There are innovative ideas to increase the amount of zakat revenue, which will be analysed in terms of capability, coordination and implementation which are secure and organised, particularly in terms of accounting

“Currently, zakat management is under the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB), and there are schemes to establish a zakat department.

“There are problems with Zakat distribution in terms of efficiency, integrity and so on.

“All of these are huge responsibilities, but the relevant departments under our ministry is continuing to make efforts within our capacity, such as addressing delays in reaching decisions for recipient applications.”

File photo shows Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque in the capital. Over BND14 million has been collected for the Mosque Construction Fund, half of which is contributed by civil servants
Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman delivers his speech