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Monday, 2 September 2013

Malaysia: Amend Wakaf Laws To Let Firms Manage Corporate Wakaf, Urges DPIM

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 30 (Bernama) -- The proposed corporate wakaf masterplan announced in Budget 2013 needs to take into account the laws concerning wakaf which are currently under the jurisdiction of state Islamic religious councils, says the Malaysian Islamic Chamber of Commerce (DPIM).

DPIM President Tan Sri Muhammad Ali Hashim said despite increased acceptance by society of corporate wakaf, the involvement of the corporate sector is still limited, probably due to the lack of legal provisions permitting wakaf to be managed by bodies other than the state Islamic religious councils, he told Bernama in a recent interview.

"In the state Islamic religious councils, there are no management experts, corporate figures or economists as most of their members have a religious education background.

"So it is time to open the doors to wakaf and to amend the laws related to it to allow companies, bodies or universities to form and manage this corporate wakaf," he said.

In this matter, he said, the state Islamic religious councils could set down the conditions, especially in ensuring the proposed corporate wakaf follows syariah principles.

"In Johor, it can be done because there are legal provisions allowing the Islamic religious council to authorise the Johor Corporation, for example, to establish a corporate wakaf.

"We hope Islamic religious councils in other states review their existing legal provisions that touch on wakaf affairs, so as to enable other bodies such as corporations, government-linked companies, universities and cooperatives to form a corporate wakaf," he said.

Muhammad Ali said there is as yet no provision in the Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Act permitting the formation of a corporate wakaf.

The Waqaf An Nur Corporation Bhd set up by Johor Corporation has as of end-2012 collected shares worth RM575.9 million from listed and unlisted companies, clear proof that the private sector can successfully manage corporate wakaf, he said, adding over 50 universities in Turkey have been set up under the wakaf concept.

Since its announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when tabling Budget 2013 last year, there has been no new development as to how the corporate wakaf masterplan is to be implemented.

(Bational News Agency Of Malaysia / 30 Aug 2013)

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